Nigerian Man Wins To Become The First Black Elected Member Of Cologne City Council In Germany

by Duke Magazine

A Nigerian-born political scientist, Dr. John Emeka Akude has made history as the first Black man to be elected as a member of Cologne’s City Council in Germany. 

Earlier this week, millions of German voters went to the polls in towns and cities across North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, to vote for Lord Mayors, Mayors, Councillors and the Integration Councils.

The exercise which included Black people vying for one position or the other at the elections just as Emeka Akude did, and won a seat at the Cologne City Council (Stadtrat). This remarkable political feat then made him to become the first Councillor of African origin in Cologne, Germany’s 4th biggest city with about 1 million inhabitants.

Reacting to Akude’s victory, Rahab Njeri, the only other African-origin candidate who took part in the election in Cologne said though she was not elected, but all African-descendant inhabitants of the city were winners with the victory of the Nigerian-born politician. Both ran on the platform of Klima Freunde (Friends of the Climate).

Dr. John Emeka Akude is an Anambra native from Nigeria

Other released results have shown several African candidates winking elections into the Integration Council (Integrationsrat) in their cities and towns, including Kevin Uguru in Essen, Pastor Lumbu in Dortmund, and Elizabeth Kaneza in Aachen.

Integration Council in some cities also known as Ausländerrat or Ausländerbeirat (Foreigners’ Advisory Council) is the official representative organ of the residents of foreign origin in a city, municipality and district.

The main task of the Council is to represent the interests of the foreign-origin population and, above all, to advocate for integration and equality between foreign and German residents at local level.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia is litmus test for the 2021 general elections in Germany. Exit polls suggest the CDU with 36.2% of the popular votes emerged the overall winners in the municipal elections, followed by SPD (23.7%) and Greens (19.1%).

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