A Nigerian, Oye Owolewa, cruised into victory on Tuesday night to become the first Nigerian-American to be elected to the United States (US) of America Congress.
The 30-year-old is heading to the US Senate to represent the District of Columbia (DC) as a shadow congressman under the Democratic Party.
Owolewa garnered 164,026 votes, representing 82.84 percent of the total votes cast.
Voters in DC elect two shadow senators, who are not officially sworn in or seated by the US Senate.
These non-voting delegates can vote in committees, speak on the floor of the chamber, and sponsor legislation, but cannot vote at plenary.
“Looks like we did it. I want to thank everyone from family and close friends to DC residents,” Omolewa said on Instagram.
“Because of your contributions and sacrifices, I stand before you as America’s first Nigerian-American congressman.
“In this role, I am going to fight for DC statehood and bring our values to the lawmaking process.
“While today is a day for some celebrations, the hard work also follows. Again, thanks so much for everything. I would not be here without you all,” he said.
Anothet Nigerian, Esther Agbaje, has been elected into the Minnesota House of Representatives in Tuesday’s US general elections.
She will represent District 59B in the 134-member House on the platform of the Democratic-Farmer–Labour Party (DFL), an affiliate of US Democratic Party.
Esther, 35, won by a landslide, polling 17,396 votes or 74.7 percent of the total ballots cast.
Her closest rival, Alan Shilepsky of the Republican Party, secured 4,128 votes, representing 17.7 percent of the total votes.
Elections to the lower chamber of the state legislature hold every two years, and there are no term limits for the lawmakers.
The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Agbaje was born in St. Paul, the state capital of Minnesota.
Her father, Rev. John, an Episcopal Church priest, met her mother, Bunmi, a librarian, at the University of Minnesota where they were studying.
Meanwhile, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has congratulated Owolewa on his victory as a shadow, describing his emergence as a pride to homeland Kwara and Nigeria.
“On behalf of the people and government of our state, I felicitate with Owolewa, from homeland Omu-Aran (Kwara State), on his deserving victory at the poll.
“His victory is a reflection of his outstanding personality as a young man with a purpose. I also specially congratulate the Kwara State Association of North America (KSANG) family, especially Lateef Amolegbe, for their unflinching support for Owolewa.
“In my engagements with Owolewa in the run up to the ballots, he came around as a fine gentlemen, a goal-getter, and a patriotic Nigerian-American with an eye fixed on the ball,” the governor said in a statement.