West African Professionals Fundraise for Bx Council Candidate, Dr. Bola Omotosho


Saturday evening, African professionals in the diaspora gathered on Long Island to support Dr. Bola Omotosho, a Ghanaian Nigerian American running for NY City Council in the West Bronx. A group of Nigerian doctors, bankers and other professionals held what one participant described as “a high class gathering” to introduce Dr. Omotosho (whom everyone simply calls “Dr. Bola”), chairman of Bronx Community Board 5 and, now, candidate for City Council.

African professionals gathered in Long Island to  raise money for Dr Bola Omotosho (3rd from the left).

African professionals gathered in Long Island to raise money for Dr Bola Omotosho.  From lefft to right, Sheikh Moussa Drammeh, Chaiman of UAC, Dr. Yemi Badero, Nigerian-American Cardiologist and host, Dr. Bola Omotosho, Dr. Abdoulaye Balde, UAC Guinean Community Director, Ms Bukola Shunoga, UAC Communications Director, Ms. Terra Renee, UAC Campaign Director

The attendees learned that Dr. Bola is supported by the United African Coalition (UAC). For some it was the first time they had heard of the UAC, a political organization coalescing around Dr. Bola. Many attendees asked that UAC representatives speak at meetings their associations.

Sheikh Moussa Drammeh, UAC chairman, emailed me writing, “My God, talk about African pride, give us just five more years in New York City [and see what we accomplish].” Sheikh Drammeh said that the immigrant professional hailed from Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea and Nigeria.

Of course, what’s a fundraiser without campaign checks. The total donations — many generously given — taken are presently being tallied. The CFB financial disclosure deadline is July 15.

African professionals, including Sheikh Moussa Dremmeh (2nd right), UAC leader and Dr. Abdoulaye Balde (r.) flank Dr Bola (ctr.) at the outdoor fundraising reception held on Saturday, July 6.

African professionals, including Sheikh Moussa Dremmeh (2nd right), UAC leader and Dr. Abdoulaye Balde (r.) flank Dr Bola (ctr.) at the outdoor fundraising reception held on Saturday, July 6.

Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson is considered the frontrunner in this contest. She has experienced robust fundraising of her own. Gibson has a lion’s share of institutional and labor union support.

For the first time since 1973, there won’t be a Foster on the primary ballot in this West Bronx council district. In 2001, term limits forced Wendell Foster out whereupon his daughter, Helen Diane Foster ran and won (defeating this writer). After voting to give herself a third term, Foster is now prohibited from running for a fourth term.

Both Foster and Gibson, to their credit, have forged good relations with the emerging West African immigrant community. But in a city where ethnic politics can fuel political ambitions, blacks in the West Bronx didn’t prove immune.

When I was in office, it had been my desire to forge a pan-African political alliance in the Bronx in order to integrate African immigrants into the political process. Ideally, I’d have suggested that Assemblywoman Gibson to remain in Albany and support a West African candidate for city council.

[Corrections made due to updated information given me Tuesday morning]

There were once as many as five four African candidates vying for the council seat held by Foster. As of Independence Day, rumors circulated that, at least three two African candidates were dropping out. Two reportedly would throw their support to Dr. Bola and a third, Naaimat Muhammed, an aide to CM Foster, reportedly will endorse Assemblywoman Gibson. Abiodun Bello has already dropped out and thrown his support to Gibson. A fifth candidate, Ahmadu Diallo is still in the race but is said to be talking with Dr. Bola.

Carlos M. Sierra, a perennial Hispanic candidate, ran against Foster in 2009 and this year is supported by the embattled Arroyo political machine, is registered with the NYC Campaign Finance Board.

Democratic nominating petitions will be filed beginning this Monday through Thursday. Petition challenges begin shortly thereafter. Many first-time candidates have seen their candidacies thwarted due to serious petition defects that disqualify them from making the primary election ballot.

The Democratic Primary Election will be held on September 10, 2013.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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One Response to West African Professionals Fundraise for Bx Council Candidate, Dr. Bola Omotosho

  1. info@africanunionday.org says:

    Thank you for this added publicity on us. A few corrections: 1. Dr. Bola Omotosho is from Nigeria not Ghana. 2. There were a total of 4 candidates, 2 dropped and 2 remaining. It is Dr. Bola and Naaimat who are still in the race. UAC has endorsed Dr. Bola. 3. Ahmadou Diallo endorsed Dr. Bola after dropping from the race. 4. Abiodun Bello, from Brooklyn, is trying to work with Vanessa for a position. 5. Chairman, a missing R.

    Thank you again!

    Moussa

    Like

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