When you think things won’t get any weirder than it already is, British YouTuber Niko Omilana will prove you wrong. The aspiring mayor posted a video on Twitter encouraging his viewers to register to vote, and he stated that ‘there is no greater leader in this country than me.’
Omilana is a 23-year-old YouTuber with 3.5 million subscribers. He produces content that revolves around prank-style videos. He also has more social media followers compared to all the other mayoral candidates he’s running against.
The YouTube star launched his campaign on April 3 by posting a video on Twitter which garnered around 1.7 million views. He described himself as the founding father and supreme leader of the Niko Defense League, also known as his political party NDL.
— NDL Mayorside (@NikoOmilana) April 2, 2021
The requirement for running to be London’s mayor includes a £10,000 deposit (approximately Php. 666,000), which candidates get back if they can acquire at least 5% of the first-preference votes during election day.
— NDL Mayorside (@NikoOmilana) April 21, 2021
He even posted his full manifesto that included statements that people can’t take seriously, like, “A second eye will be added to the London Eye, so it becomes the London Eyes.”
— NDL Mayorside (@NikoOmilana) April 27, 2021
Weeks after his campaign announcement, Omilana lands the fifth spot in an opinion poll. It showed that 5% of respondents consider him as their first preference vote according to the London Evening Standard.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Omilana admitted that he wasn’t active in politics before running as London mayor. However, it seems that he sees this opportunity as a challenge that he’s willing to face.
He said, ‘I feel like young people aren’t represented in politics, hence why I’ve decided to step forward and put myself in the limelight… I didn’t want to do this, but I felt like I had no choice. There’s that Thanos moment of ‘fine, I’ll do it myself.’‘
No one can confirm if Omilana is running for the position mainly because of YouTube content or if he really wants to be held accountable for nearly 9 million Londoners. Despite the uncertainty, he shouldn’t underestimate the power of his influence, especially since he has an audience composed of young voters.
The London mayoral election will be held on May 6.