Three Nigerians Win Legislative Seats
Three Nigerian-Americans, Esther Agbaje, Oye Owolewa and Nnamdi Chukwuocha, have won their electoral bids in the United States election held last Tuesday.
Ms Agbaje, who contested to represent District 59B in the Minnesota House of Representatives on the platform of the Democratic Party, won with 17,396 votes.
The 35-year-old Harvard law graduate defeated Republican Alan Shilepsky and Green Party candidate Lisa Neal-Delgado to represent downtown and north Minneapolis in the State House.
Born to Nigerian parents – an Episcopal priest and a librarian – Ms Agbaje became the first Nigerian-American to be elected to the Minnesota legislature.
With a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, she had a stint in the U.S. State Department, experience working with City Government, and accolades at a prestigious law firm, her profile read.
In August, Ms Agbaje was one of four newcomers who defeated established Democratic legislators in the primary – two in the state House and two in the Senate. She is interested in prison reform, fighting racial discrepancies, housing among others.
Another Nigerian Democrat, Oye Owolewa, was elected as a shadow member of the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia.
He polled 164,026 votes to defeat incumbent Joyce Robinson-Paul, who scored 18,600 votes, and Sohaer Syed with 15,372 votes.
Mr Owolewa, who has roots in Kwara and Oyo States, holds a PhD in Pharmacy from the Northeastern University, Boston. In 2018, he was elected Commissioner of his neighbourhood in SouthEast DC.
As an advocate for DC statehood, he launched TaxFreeDC as a movement to combat DC’s taxation without representation.
According to his website, TaxFreeDC declares that until DC statehood is achieved, DC’s tax revenue shall no longer go to the Federal Government.
“Oye believes our money belongs here for DC priorities instead of going to a government that fails to recognise us,” it said. He became the first Nigerian-American to occupy the seat. .
Also, Nnamdi Chukwuocha won re-election as a member of Delaware House of Representatives from District 1. As a Democrat without an opponent, he won 100 per cent of the votes with 7,640.
Chukwuocha who was elected to represent District 1 in the Delaware House of Representatives in 2018 has a Bachelor’s degree in history and a Master’s degree in social work from Delaware State University.
Chukwuocha has several years of experience in local politics in the state. He once served on the Wilmington City Council as President Pro Tempore and Chair of the Education, Youth and Families Committee.
In 2019, he was a member of the Corrections Committee, the Education Committee, the Health & Human Development Committee, the Veterans Affairs Committee as a US Army veteran and Vice-Chair of the Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure Committee.