Meet 8 Nigerian-Americans who won seats in US midterm elections
Eight(8) Nigerian-American politicians have emerged winners in their respective elective posts in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and the District of Columbia (DC) in the ongoing US midterm elections.
The Nigerian government has also identified them with President Muhammadu Buhari congratulating them for bringing honour to the country while the chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, took to Twitter on Wednesday to share the news with a picture frame of the winners.
“These Nigerian Americans won their elections in Georgia last night. A hearty congrats to them all #ProudlyNigerian,” she wrote.
The eight winners are Segun Adeyina, Gabe Okoye, Solomon Adesanya, Tish Naghise, Phil Olaleye, Carol Kazeem, Oye Owolewa and Esther Agbaje who won legislative seats as State Representatives in their respective Districts on Tuesday.
Adeyina, a Georgia-based Information Technology (IT) expert, contested and won a legislative seat as a Georgia State Representative on the ticket of the Democratic Party to represent District 110. He is an experienced IT specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry with a bias in databases, IT strategy, data management and system development.
In his campaign manifesto, Adeyina promised to be committed to better education, health care, and infrastructure, among other issues.
Okoye, a professional civil engineer, is the Chief Executive Officer, Essex Geoscience Inc, and has lived in Lawrenceville since 1992.
He vied and won a legislative seat as a Georgia State Representative representing District 102. Okoye has been in politics for a while as he was a former chairman of Gwinnett County and a Democrat.
Solomon Adesanya is an entrepreneur, businessman and politician who contested and won a seat in the Georgia State to represent District 43 which covers Marietta under the Democratic Party.
Adesanya who owns a restaurant in Cobb County campaigned on the bases of economic development, quality public education, expansion of Medicaid, protecting women’s right to choose and preserving the climate.
Tish Naghise who describes herself as a passionate businesswoman won a legislative seat for District 68 in Georgia State. Naghise is a Democrat and the owner of a thriving transport company, T & C Transportation.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clayton State University and is currently undergoing her Master’s programme at Clayton State majoring in Strategic Leadership and Development.
Phil Olaleye, a Democrat, defeated his Republican Party opponent to become a Georgia State Representative for District 59.
Olaleye is the Executive Director of Next Generation Men & Women, an ‘education non-profit closing the opportunity gap for under-resourced high school students in Atlanta.’
Before venturing into politics, Olaleyrle had served as the Director of Performance Management at WorkSource Atlanta and as a U.S. Peace Corps Children, Youth, and Family Volunteer in the Philippines.
Olaleye who was also the ex-President of the Organised Neighbours of Summerhill, is a 2021 Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 and was a 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 under 40 honouree.
He graduated from Duke University in 2007 and received a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2014.
Carol Kazeem, a Pennsylvania-based activist contested and won the seat of Pennsylvania State Representative to represent District 159 under the Democratic Party.
She attended the Chester Upland School District and earned a high school diploma from Ridley High School and an associate degree from Anthem College in 2013.
Kazeem had worked in the healthcare sector for over 13 years in various and while campaigning, Kazeem vowed to fight for a $15 minimum wage, education equity, combating gun violence, ending mass incarceration, housing for all and environmental justice.
Oye Owolewa, a pharmacist turned politician, contested and won as the US Shadow Representative from District Columbia (DC) under the Democratic Party.
Brought up in Newton, Massachusetts, Owolewa attended Boston Latin School and graduated in 2008.
In 2014, he earned a doctorate in Pharmacy from Northeastern University and moved to Washington to practice pharmacy.
While campaigning, Owolewa said he would be committed to advocacy and community resources, the fight against prescription drugs and climate change.
Esther Agbaje, an accomplished legal practitioner, vied and won a legislative seat as a Minnesota State Representative, representing District 59B which includes portions of north and downtown Minneapolis in Hennepin County under the Democratic Party.
She graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor (JD) from Harvard University.
Agbaje had previously served at the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer and is an Associate Attorney with Ciresi Conlin LLP, where she practices in general civil litigation and medical malpractice.