Daniel Ogoloma: Political participation in UK and Nigeria
With the 2023 general elections looming over Nigeria’s political elite 2021 looks like the years we will see the famous political chess games begin between the APC, PDP and various other parties. One demographic that will definitely have a major say in whatever way the election turns out is Nigeria’s 70% youth population who proved during the ENDSARS protests that they weren’t lazy and that they have the ability to mobilise themselves and advocate for a change they believed was needed.
Additionally, diaspora voices have also got stronger since the ENDSARS movement with many young Nigeria’s outside the continent lending their voices to produce they change they want to see.
One young person who has been flying the nation’s flag high for the last two years is Daniel Ogoloma, a British-Nigerian based in the UK who is a student at the prestigious Oxford University, an officer in training at the famous Sandhurst military academy, a political consultant, and the founder of New Generation Africa.
I first encountered Ogoloma’s work during the beginning of 2019 when the first lockdowns across the world took place. He was hosting ex Bayelsa East senator, Ben Murray-Bruce on an Instagram live discussion in which they spoke about politics and business but with a very youthful approach.
As well as that, he has shared on his social media his deep connections within the UK conservative party, and when someone as young as him sits on the second row behind the UK cabinet ministers you wonder, who is this!?
Since then I have interviewed Daniel, spoken to some of his peers and classmates to hear some of the great things he’s been able to do in London and he’s intensions of replicating them in Nigeria.
In 2019 Business Day reported that Ogoloma had joined the RT Hon Rory Stewarts London Mayoral campaign. Stewart was a conservative MP for 8 years, he also contested for the party leadership seat and unfortunately lost to the current prime minister Boris Johnson. After losing the leadership hustings he quit the Conservative party and decided to contest as the mayor of London as an independent candidate.
When Rory Stewart started his London mayoral campaign he knew he needed someone who is of high reputation and also very close to the grassroots. So, Stewart’s team didn’t think twice when the opportunity to work with political consultant Daniel Ogoloma came about. Knowing how he has positively impacted his London community through his political engagements and participations made the match was perfect.
Ogoloma’s strength lies in mobilising large numbers of young people from the BME communities across London, a demographic that Rory would struggle appealing to given his background. Nonetheless, Ogoloma showed his ability when he pulled off a rally in South London in which hundreds of Black Minorities ethnics showed up to listen to what Stewart had to say, all of this was in the hope of slashing Labour votes. Rory is believed to have gained momentum in the polls after Ogoloma joined his campaign.
In an article on Comment Central, Ogoloma recalls taking Stewart to a nutorious Tulse Hill estate to meet youths with terrible life experiences, all of this in the bid to get him up and close with real life experiences which would ultimately make Rory more relatable with Londoners once living in their shoes for a week. However, controversy sprung up as Labour MPs tried to force Stewart to part ways with Ogoloma due a role he had taken up as a spokesman in the previous months, instead Steward refused to distance himself from Daniel.
When I asked about the controversy, Ogoloma said “such mischievous acts are expected to happen when the opposition are scared of a candidate”.
Ogoloma is still in his early 20s, when I asked him how it felt being in the public eye so young he said “Politics can be a dirty game, if your opposition is a threat you will do and say all you can do slander their efforts. When I started working closely with Conservative politicians I knew politically motivated attacks from their opposition, and silly press headlines would surface but that hasn’t stopped me at all”.
Furthermore, some students at Oxford University who spoke on animosity were also adamant that Ogoloma had worked with the Brexit Party UK team to help deliver Brexit after a student on Facebook hinted at leaked emails between Tice and Ogoloma discussing the idea of legalising cannabis in the UK. Photos on his social media with Nigel Farage in 2018 and then Richard Tice a year later makes it all believable.
As well as having his hands in UK politics Ogoloma has also played communication roles in elections for Nigerian candidates. Speaking on the 2023 presidential election, he stated that “there are no youth leaders, a leader is a leader and Nigerian’s must wake up to that fact. Nonetheless, I have been slightly naive in the past as I now know a few young people who participate at state level politics which is good. We must increase participation from young people and work out clear progress routes for them to reach federal level”.
When asked which candidate he will be working with Ogoloma responded “I am looking forward to working closely with whoever can pay good enough (just joking), I will work with a candidate in that’s interested in pushing the youth agenda which is something myself and my team are advocates of. I have some of the most intelligent students on the planet working on my team who have worked with top UK government officials and the military, as well as some of the best data analysts so I’m confident”.
No comments yet