A Nigerian has made history as the First black man to be elected member of Cologne’s City Council in Germany.
Dr. John Emeka Akude, a Nigerian-born political scientist made history by becoming the first Councillor of African origin in Cologne, Germany’s 4th biggest city.
The election which held on Sunday 13 September, saw millions of voters troop out enmasse 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.
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).
Other results that have been released show that several African candidates won 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.