Citizens of the United States of America are heading to the polls in the country’s general elections taking place today, November 8.
The four Americans who are of Nigerian descent will be contesting in grassroots elections at township and county levels.
They are Charles Ejike Onyejiaka, George Chidi, Rasheed Bolaji (or ‘BJ’) Dawodu and April Ademiluyi.
1. Charles Ejike Onyejiaka
He is from Imo state, the eastern part of Nigeria. He is a Democrat and is contesting for Ward 3 Councilman seat in Franklin. He was one of three men presented to Franklin Town Council as fill-in candidates for the unexpired term of Phil Kramer, former Ward 3 Councilman, who became Mayor of Franklin last January. He beat Alex Kharazi and Azim Uddin, also democrats and immigrants, to succeed Kramer. He is contesting against Beverly Briggs-Lawson, a Republican.
Born in Nkwerre, his family has a record of record of civic engagements. His His uncle served as a commissioner while an aunt worked as special assistant in the governor’s office.
He has a degree in Electronics Engineering from Thomas Edison State University and is also something of a veteran public servant with experience dating back to Nigeria’s Second Republic. He is prominent member of the local Catholic community and has served on the Township Planning Board.
2. April Ademiluyi
She is the only female American of Nigerian descent contesting in the general election. She is contesting for a judicial not administrative position. She is a candidate for the Seventh Circuit Court in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is a first generation American with roots in the Ademiluyi royal family in Ife.
She had her first degree in Chemical Engineering. She has a law degree from an Ivy League university. She has been recognized by Congressional leaders for working with families facing foreclosure.
He is the son George Njoku Chidi, a native of Umuoye in Imo state. His father arrived Massachusetts in 1970 on a student visa, met his mum who is a Caucasian of Polish descent and they got married
Chidi is running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners in DeKalb County, Georgia. He defeated eight other aspirants to become the Democratic nominee for this general election which he is strongly favored to win.
Of the four Nigerian-Americans running for office, he seems to have the deepest connection to his constituents and the widest name recognition among Americans and Nigerian-Americans alike. He is very supportive of the Nigerian immigrant community
He has a bachelor degree in Journalism, MBA from Georgia Tech and was chief executive officer of a firm that markets competitive intelligence for corporate clients. He was an active duty soldier in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army for five years and has been a journalist and civic leader for twenty years.
4. Rasheed Bolaji (or ‘BJ’) Dawodu
He is a Democrat running for the position of Tax Commissioner in Fayette County, Georgia. He is contesting against Republican Kristie King.
He relocated from Lagos to the United States more than 20 years ago. Before going into private practice, he worked extensively in the public sector. He has degrees in accounting, law, public finance and is a certified fraud examiner. He has worked for Fortune 500 firms including General Electric and Georgia Pacific.
His candidacy is actively supported by Fayette Chamber of Commerce and his immigrant constituency.
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