Eric Adams, a leading New York City Mayoral candidate, has praised the Nigerian community for endorsing him, and expressed the hope that the gesture will increase his chances of emerging victorious in the November election.
Adams, in his acceptance speech at the endorsement ceremony held at the Kudirat Abiola Corner in New York, promised to deliver on his campaign promises, especially as concerns involving Africans, especially Nigerians in his government if elected.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian Forum, co-convened by the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians and the Nigerian-Americans Public Affairs Committee had earlier ratified the endorsement of Adams.
Adams told Nigerians that the endorsement meant a lot to him, saying: “Endorsing me today means so much to me because you are adding your voice to the beautiful mosaic of New Yorkers of different ethnicities.
“We are saying as one city, we are going to come together and deal with issues that will make us succeed.
“We are going to succeed as we move across the entrance of the city today, and with all immigrants and ethnic communities that have braced this campaign.
“They see what you see; they see finally, the Mayor of New York that will not leave any family behind; we are going to move forward together.”
The mayoral candidate urged leaders of the various societies to show commitment to their endorsement of his candidacy by intensifying their campaigns for his success at the poll.
Adams said: “It is imperative, my brothers and sisters from Nigeria that you go on social media; it is imperative that you go and speak to your congregation at churches.
“It is imperative that you speak to your organisations; we are not going to win by being on 44th street 2nd Avenue at Kudirat Abiola Corner by Nigeria House.
“We are going to win by being on every corner, every block, every church, every mosque and every temple. That is how we are going to win.
“I need you to deliver on your name as strong Nigerians; you are strong to make sure we get through this together.”
In his remarks, Gbenga Omotayo, Chairman, NAPAC New York, pledged bloc votes from different associations that make up the Nigerian community.
Omotayo said: “You need to know because we are diverse people and our leaders represent different blocs of voters and that is why we celebrate different leaders who are here today for mobilising the Nigerian community.
“However, NAPAC is a political action committee; the committee is the only organisation that can endorse Mr. Eric Adams.”
Also speaking, Yinka Dansalami, the Chairman, Board of OAN, assured Adams of bloc votes from the Nigerian community in New York.
Dansalami said: “With 100,000 Nigerian voters, we are going to put you on top; you are going to win by the mighty name of God and when you win, don’t forget Nigerians.
“Don’t forget your promises to us.”
Pastor Festus Adeyeye, Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Christian Centre Church Community, said with the recent political atmosphere of injustice and racial inequalities in the US, “we need leaders with the vision to unite instead of divide”.
Adeyeye, who was represented by Olufemi Adetola, said the community needed leadership with cutting edge economic vision for the city of New York.
He said: “We need leadership with cutting edge economic vision that will deliver the residents from unbearable living conditions of excessive regulations.
“We at Abundant Life Christian Centre Church stand solidly with such leaders and organisations in lifting up New York and New Yorkers.”
The New York City mayoral election is very competitive and strategic due to the city’s diverse nature and an annual budget of about $100 billion, the largest municipal budget in the US.
No fewer than 13 Democratic and two Republican candidates are vying for the city’s 2021 mayoral election, but the Democratic and Republican nominees would be decided at the primaries on June 22, 2021 and the general election on November 2, 2021.
The Nigerian community has, therefore, positioned itself as an organised and important voting bloc that has enough weight to pull support for a candidate whose agenda flow in tandem with the aspirations of the community.
Newsmen report that the Nigerian Forum also endorsed three Nigerians contesting in the city council’s elections.
They are Prof. Ranti Ogunleye, contesting for Staten Island District 49; Dr. George Onuorah, contesting for Queens District 21; and Chris Durosinmi, contesting for Brooklyn District 37.