Who is election candidate Niko Omilana, and what YouTube pranks has he done?

Who is election candidate Niko Omilana, and what YouTube pranks has he done?

YouTuber Niko Omilana finishes in fifth place for Mayor of London


Such is UK democracy that in addition to the Conservative Party and Labour Party battling it out to form the next government during a general election campaign, we typically have a number of silly, bizarre and satirical candidates hoping to get your vote – from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, to Count Binface and YouTube prankster Niko Omilana.

In an announcement video posted to Twitter/X on Tuesday, in which Omilana donned children’s sunglasses, he said: “I’ve decided to run for prime minister, and I’m going up against our current prime minister Rishi Sunak in the area of Richmond and plan to completely remove him from the political world.

“’Rishi So Knacks’ wants to send young people to war, so I’ve decided to declare war on the system. We’ll remove Rishi, and on top of this, we have done the impossible.”

He went on to explain that he has managed to field multiple candidates named Niko Omilana across the country in a bid to “declare myself prime minister”, and encouraged his followers to register to vote.

Seeing as it’s against the law under the Representation of the People Act 1983 to stand in more than one constituency, it’s believed the 11 Niko Omilanas identified as standing in seats across the UK are different people who have changed their name to the content creator in order to stand legally.

And of course, people don’t actually vote for a prime minister – rather, they vote for a member of parliament and the party with the most MPs forms the government, with its leader taking on the role of PM.

Omilana continued: “This country doesn’t believe that young people have power, but together, we do.

“’Rishi So Knacks’, you have no aura, it’s time to go.”

So, who is the content creator and “founding father” of the “Niko Defence League”?

Allow us to explain.

With more than 7 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel, the 26-year-old influencer is known for elaborate – and at times risky – pranks and stunts, and for being a member of the supergroup Beta Squad.

Here’s a roundup of some of his wildest stunts to date.

Pranking a KKK leader

I Pranked America's Most Racist Manwww.youtube.com

In 2022, posing as a fake BBC News reporter, he sat down for an interview with KKK member Thomas Robb and got him to shout out fake Instagram accounts which actually sounded like “suck my d***” and “BLM” (Black Lives Matter) when read aloud.

Trolling the English Defence League

UNDERCOVER As A RACIST For 24 HOURSwww.youtube.com

Back in 2018, Omilana set up a fake YouTube channel called EDL TV as a ruse to ridicule supporters of the far-right group, before heading to their protest in the Shropshire town of Telford to mock them there, too.

The video ended with him announcing the creation of a parody movement called the Niko Defence League or NDL to further mock the group.

Tricking Tommy Robinson into promoting his merch


Donning a fake old man mask and sitting in a wheelchair, he managed to blag his way into meeting the controversial far-right activist Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) at a protest march and got him to promote NDL merchandise.

Mocking Trump supporters

UNDERCOVER At A TRUMP Rally For 24 HOURSyoutu.be

Back when US President Donald Trump attracted controversy for his state visit to the UK in 2019, and Trump supporters turned up to express their support, Omilana went along to a Trump demonstration wearing a red Make America Great Again cap to take the mickey out of his backers.

Smuggling fake artwork into the National Gallery and the Louvre

SNEAKING A Painting Next To The Mona Lisawww.youtube.com

Using a painting done by a follower, which he had previously snuck into the National Gallery, Omilana went to France and to the Louvre and successfully managed to hang up the painting – which he called the “Handsome Lisa” – into the same room in which Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic work resides.

Setting up fake McDonalds and Apple stores

I Opened A FAKE McDonaldswww.youtube.com

Called NotMcDonalds and Not Apple, Omilana set up fake versions of their popular counterparts and handed out free tech and food to members of the public.

Sneaking into boxing matches

SNEAKING Into KSI's Boxing Match (In the ring)www.youtube.com

A friend of the YouTube supergroup The Sidemen (including member JJ “KSI” Olatunji), Omilana has been a supporter of the rapper and YouTuber’s boxing career since it began – to the extent that he has hatched a number of elaborate plans to get into the boxing ring itself.

He first tried his luck with the 2018 fight between KSI and Logan Paul, with a plan which earned him the nickname “Ringside” after he told a print shop that was his name in order to secure a decoy wristband.

He snuck in again for the 2019 rematch, took things to another level when he disguised himself as ‘Reng Sayeed’ for Jake Paul’s bout against Ali ”AnEsonGib” Al-Fakri in February 2020, and then for KSI’s fight against Tommy Fury last year, he wore a giant Prime bottle in order to actually get into the ring, rather than touch the ropes before security got involved.

Standing for mayor of London

How I Won The London Mayor Electionwww.youtube.com

Not content with poking fun at supporters of extreme political movements, in 2021 he put himself forward as a candidate for mayor of London, being one of two YouTubers (the other being Max Fosh) to stand in the contest.

While Fosh tried and failed to secure more votes than Reclaim Party leader Laurence Fox, Omilana ended up being the most successful independent candidate from a list of 20, coming fifth with more than 49,600 votes.

Will he replicate his success in London when he takes on Sunak in the Yorkshire constituency of Richmond and Northallerton on 4 July? We’ll have to wait and see…

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