By Martins Ifijeh
Two Americans with Nigerian descent, Oye Owolewa, Esther Agbaje, and Nnamdi Chukwuocha have emerged victorious in the US elections held on Tuesday.
While Agbaje won a House of Representatives seat in Minnesota, Owolewa was declared winner of the shadow election in the District of Columbia (DC).
During elections, voters of the District of Columbia elect a shadow representative who is recognised as equivalent to US representatives by the District of Columbia, but the US government does not recognise the individual as an actual member of the House of Representatives.
Owolewa scored a total of 164,026 votes, which represents 82.84 per cent of the total votes cast to beat his distant rival who polled 18,600 votes representing 9.25 percent.
Owolewa from Kwara State, who holds a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Pharmacy from the North-Eastern University, Boston, contested on the platform of the Democratic Party as a ‘shadow’ (non-voting) House of Representatives member out of the District of Columbia (DC).
Owolewa is the first Nigerian-American to be elected to US congress.
The Nigerian-born democrat took to Instagram to express gratitude to his friends, family and D.C. residents, for their support.
“Good morning. Looks like WE DID IT!!! I want to thank everyone, from family and close friends to DC residents. Because of your contributions and sacrifices, I stand before you as America’s first Nigerian American congressman. In this role, I’m going to fight for DC statehood and bring our values to the lawmaking process. While today is day for some celebration, the hard work also follows. Again, thanks so much for everything. I wouldn’t be here without you all,” he wrote.
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 was elected to represent District 1 in the Delaware House of Representatives in 2018.
With a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in social work from Delaware State University, he 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
He is part of the spoken word duo “Twin Poets” which was appointed as the State of Delaware 17th Poets Laureate.
On her part, Agbaje won by a landslide, scoring a total of 17,396 votes, which represents 74.7 per cent of the total ballots cast.
Her closest rival, Alan Shilepsky, a nominee for the Republican Party, scored 4,126 votes, which represents 17.7 per cent of the total votes cast.
She will represent district 59B in the 134 member house on the democratic farmer Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party.
Abaje was born in St. Paul, the state capital of Minnesota, to Nigerian immigrant parents.
She attended George Washington University, DC, with a first degree in political science.
She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a law degree from Harvard University.