Nigerian, Oye Owolewa, has been elected to the United States Congress. Owolewa from Kwara, 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 Representative member out of the District of Columbia (DC).
The 31-year-old politician is the first Nigerian congressman in the country’s history. Sharing the news on his Facebook page, he wrote, “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.
Oye’s parents, born and raised in Nigeria, raised him with two guiding principles, a value in community service and an early exposure to science. This exposure became a love for science, culminating in him achieving a Doctorate of Pharmacy. In 2018, Oye was elected commissioner of his neighborhood in Southeast DC. In this position, he served as the medium between the community and the local government.
Oye worked to bring resources to the underserved by advising DC lawmakers based on continued community feedback. Some of Oye’s most notable achievements were increasing science enrichment programs in Southeast elementary schools, adding traffic safety measures and helping bring a Senior Day Center to the neighbourhood.
As commissioner, Oye learned the value of being an advocate and community resource. Oye has dedicated his energy to educate and advocate for DC statehood and equality. He participated in the historic March 2019 lobby day, resulting in a majority of the House of Representatives supporting DC Statehood for the first time in American history.
Soon after, Oye took his efforts to Annapolis where he joined the effort to end big money’s impact on our lawmaking. DC’s as close as it’s ever been to being a state and Oye is here to finish the fight. “In this role, I’m going to fight for DC statehood and bring our values to the lawmaking process. While today is a day for some celebration, the hard work also follows. Again, thanks so much for everything. I wouldn’t be here without you all.”