President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed Ms. Rinsola Abiola as the Senior Special Assistant on Citizenship and Leadership. In this role, she will be working closely with the leadership of the Ministry of Youth.
Ms. Abiola is a public relations professional and youth & gender advocate. She works at the intersection of politics and civil society to promote civic education and political literacy, and advocate for the enhanced inclusion of marginalized groups in decision-making/governance.
Rinsola is an active member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a pioneer member of its youth and women’s wings. She is also a founding member of the party’s young women’s movement, and was appointed as one of three youth representatives to the party’s Board of Trustees in 2015. In keeping with her sustained advocacy for the full recognition of young women as equal stakeholders in the political youth movement, she made history in 2022 as the first woman to vie for the position of the APC National Youth Leader.
Ms. Abiola currently coordinates the activities of the Progressive Sisters’ Network (PSN), a women-focused, grassroots-oriented support group which she founded in 2022; the Network has active chapters in all 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The group was actively involved in the Renewed Hope campaign and has received awards for its contributions since the party’s victory in February 2023.
In addition to leading a notable women’s group, Rinsola also served in the women’s wing of the Tinubu/Shettima campaign as a member of the Administrative, Media and Contact & Mobilisation Committees.
Prior to her appointment as SSA to the President, Rinsola worked as Managing Partner at a Public Relations and corporate events firm which she co-founded in 2020, and which specialises in media and government relations.
She also previously worked as Senior Manager in charge of Government Relations & Partnerships (for Northern Nigeria) at ORide, the e-mobility arm of the fintech giant, OPay.
She has worked in several other roles in the private and non-profit sectors, including as Director of Public Affairs at a non-profit focused on voter mobilisation and civic education.
Rinsola also runs the Derinsola Abiola Foundation, which is domiciled in Abeokuta, her hometown, and which serves as an empowerment platform for women and young people. Since its launch in 2021, the foundation has introduced an empowerment fund for women and a scholarship fund for indigent students in government-owned secondary schools.
Rinsola volunteers as a facilitator at The Electoral College Nigeria, a non-profit organisation committed to civic education and youth mainstreaming in politics & governance.
Ms. Abiola has a BSc in Statistics and a Diploma in Public Relations, and has been on study visits to the United States (2016 International Visitor Leadership Program, sponsored by the US Department of State), Sweden (via the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria) and the United Kingdom (sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy).
She has also participated in other programmes by organisations such as the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Women in Politics Forum (WiPF) and INEC (party agents’ training), among others. Ms. Abiola also participated actively in the Not Too Young To Run campaign.
In recognition of her commitment to gender equity and women’s political and social advancement, she was selected as a UN Women Beijing Eaglet/Intergenerational Mentee in 2019 (i.e. one of 25 young Nigerian women chosen to carry on advocacy regarding meeting the goals outlined in the Beijing Platform for Action – BPfA). She also served on the advisory board of the World Youth Movement for Democracy (Africa Region) from 2019-2020, and has represented Nigeria at youth engagements across the Continent.
Prior to joining mainstream politics, Ms. Abiola was involved in the activities of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) via one of its Voluntary Youth Organisations and she served as the South-West Coordinator of the Nigerian Youths Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue Summit Group.