Meet 9 Nigerians contesting US elections


Meet 9 Nigerians contesting US elections

At least nine Americans of Nigerian descent are candidates in the 2020 elections in the United States.

On Tuesday, Americans will head to the polls to elect their choice candidates to pilot the affairs of the country for the next four years.

While President Donald Trump of the Republican Party is up against Joe Biden of the Democratic Party, his main challenger, there are other candidates contesting for other positions.

According to NAN, aside from the presidential election, governorship polls will hold in 11 states and two territories, in addition to other state and local elections.

Congressional elections will also hold on Tuesday with all the 435 seats in the US house of representatives, and 35 of the 100 seats in the senate up for election.

At least, nine Nigerian-Americans are also in the race at the federal, state and local levels.

Oye Owolewa from Kwara, who holds a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in pharmacy from the Northeastern University, Boston, is contesting on the platform of the Democratic Party to represent the District of Columbia (DC).

Owolewa is seeking for a ‘shadow’ (non-voting) seat in the house of representatives and, if elected, would be the first Nigerian congressman in the country’s history.

Esther Agbaje, a 35-year-old daughter of an episcopal priest and a librarian, both Nigerian immigrants, is seeking to represent district 59B in the Minnesota house of representatives on the platform of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Party (DFLP), an affiliate of the US Democratic Party.

Agbaje holds a law degree from Harvard University, a Master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, and has served in the US department of state.

Yomi Faparusi, an Ibadan-born native of Ode-Ekiti in Ekiti state, is seeking election as an independent candidate to represent the state of Tennessee in the congress.

Faparusi holds a degree in medicine from the University of Ibadan, a Ph.D. in health from Johns Hopkins University, and a juris doctorate from the Widener University School of Law, Delaware.

Faparusi contested in 2014 and 2016 for the house of representatives under the Republican Party but lost on both occasions. His agenda includes being a positive voice for all Nigerians in the US senate, and inspiring Americans of African or Nigerian descent to seek public office in the country.

Yinka Faleti, born in Lagos, migrated to the United States at the age of seven. He is the Democratic Party nominee for Missouri secretary of state.

According to his website, Faleti “served in the active-duty United States Army as a combat arms officer in tank units for over six years and attained the rank of Captain after two deployments overseas to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Spring prior to 9/11 and Operation Enduring Freedom in response to 9/11”.

Paul Akinjo from Ondo is running for election to the California state assembly under the Democratic Party to represent District 12.

Akinjo once served as vice mayor of Lathrop, California, and in the US army reserve from 1982 to 1989. Housing, immigration and transportation are top on his agenda.

Adewunmi Kuforiji from Oyo is vying to represent district 34 in the Delaware house of representatives. He holds a degree in accounting and a Master’s in business administration from the Delaware State University.

In the 2018 mid-term elections, Kuforiji vied for the same position but lost to the incumbent, Lyndon Yearick, of the Republican Party, whom he is up against on Tuesday.

April Ademiluyi, Ngozi Akubuike and Benjamin Osemenam will all be contesting at the local government level, respectively.

Ademiluyi, 39, is running on the Democratic Party’s ticket for judge of the seventh circuit court in Prince George’s county, Maryland.

Akubuike, a legal practitioner, is an independent candidate for judge of the Minnesota 2nd District Court Position 8.

She studied law in Nigeria, then worked in the banking sector before moving to the US where she graduated from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She has served in several capacities, including legal manager for the state of Minnesota.

Osemenam moved to the US in 1982. He is contesting for a seat in the Brooklyn Park City Council of Minnesota to represent East District.

Osemenam, who is an engineer with the Minnesota department of transportation, is vying on the platform of the National Party.

He is a former president of the Association of Nigerian Engineers in Minnesota.

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