Dr John Emeka Akude holding his campaign placard during the election campaign, calling for diversity in Cologne’s City Council/Photo: John Emeka Akude
A Nigerian-born political scientist, Dr John Emeka Akude, has been elected a member of the Cologne City Council (Stadtrat) in Germany.
By his election, Akude made history as the first councillor of African origin in Cologne, Germany’s 4th biggest city with about 1 million residents.
Akude was elected on Sunday 13 September, when millions of 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.
Reacting to Akude’s victory, Rahab Njeri, the only other African-origin candidate who took part in the election in Cologne, said even though she was not elected, all African-descendant inhabitants of the city were winners with the victory of the Nigerian-born politician, The African Courier reports.
Both Akude and Njeri 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 the local level.
Comprehensive results of elections into all the integration council in the state, The African Courier, reports will be announced on Wednesday.