As you know, the Igbo are a go-getting people. Let’s look at some of them that are running in the US election today.
1. George Chidi is a veteran and, the son of George Njoku Chidi, a native of Umuoye in Imo State, Igbo Land, Nigeria. The younger George is running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners in DeKalb County, Georgia. His story reads almost like that of Barack Obama whose ancestors we believe originally came from Obo Ama in today’s Rivers State. His dad arrived Massachusetts in 1970 on a student visa, met his mum who is a Caucasian of Polish descent.
They got married and, unlike Obama’s dad, the older George stayed in the United States. George junior was an active duty soldier in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army for five years and, he has been a journalist and civic leader for twenty years.
George Chidi 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.
Rasheed Dawodu 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.
2. Charles Onyejiaka, a democrat, is the incumbent in a two-way race 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.Mr. Onyejiaka beat Alex Kharazi and Azim Uddin, also democrats and immigrants, to succeed Kramer. Today, he is contesting against Beverly Briggs-Lawson, a Republican, in the general election.Mr. Onyejiaka is one of four Americans of Nigerian descent whose names are on ballots in grassroots elections at township and county levels this year. The others are George Chidi, Rasheed ‘BJ’ Dawodu and April Ademiluyi. All four are product of currents of civic engagement by hundreds of immigrants and first generation Americans who maintain their ties to Nigeria even as they live relatively comfortable lives in the United States.
Born in Nkwerre, Mr. Onyejiaka grew up in a family of public servants whose record of civic engagement reached its zenith during Nigeria’s Second Republic when Sam Mbakwe was governor of Imo State. His uncle served as a commissioner while an aunt worked as special assistant in the governor’s office. Charles has followed the footsteps of his Nigerian family in his new country.
In 2015, he mobilized voter turn-out in numbers that proved good enough to give Democrats their first mayoral victory in Franklin Township.
Charles Onyejiaka has a degree in Electronics Engineering from Thomas Edison State University, he is also something of a veteran public servant with experience dating back to Nigeria’s Second Republic.