1:39 am - Saturday July 20, 2019

IMO State BOY, KELECHI MADU(Kaycee) becomes First Nigerian elected Lawmaker in Canada …doubles as Minister of Municipal Affairs of the Province of Alberta *45 year old will be parliamentarian representing Edmonton South-West constituency *Ministry is the third largest in Alberta with over $3.7 billion portfolio *UNILAG law graduate under aegis of United Conservative Party in Edmonton won in the provincial election garnering 7,742 votes to beat his competitors: John Archer of the New Democrat Party who polled 6,974 BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF


IMO State BOY, KELECHI MADU(Kaycee) becomes First Nigerian elected Lawmaker in Canada

…doubles as Minister of Municipal Affairs of the Province of Alberta

*45 year old will be parliamentarian representing Edmonton South-West constituency

*Ministry is the third largest in Alberta with over $3.7 billion portfolio

*UNILAG law graduate under aegis of United Conservative Party in Edmonton won in the provincial election garnering 7,742 votes to beat his competitors: John Archer of the New Democrat Party who polled 6,974

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

HE’S MAKING NIGERIA PROUD IN CANADA. He is a Nigerian, Naturalized Canadian. KELECHI MADU famously known as Kaycee is a an inspiring news story of success against all odds. Hardworking, ever-smiling and bubbly Kaycee strongly believe in the greatness of Nigeria’s resilient spirit.

The 45 year old Nigerian born Canadian politician had been elected as a Parliamentarian to represent the good people of Alberta in Edmonton South-West constituency, Canada. On April 30, an Igbo and a University of Lagos law graduate, took oath of office as Minister of Municipal Affairs in Alberta, Canada.

Kelechi is one of the 22 new cabinet members. Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, swore him in recently at the Government House in Edmonton. But that is only half of the story. The other half is that he was also elected this year to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing the electoral district of Edmonton South-West.

On May 21, he was sworn in as a lawmaker. This distinguished Nigerian will be serving in dual capacity as the Minister of Municipal Affairs of the Province of Alberta and at the same time a member of parliament representing his Edmonton South-West constituency. The ministry is the third largest in Alberta with over $3.7 billion portfolio and it is to be superintended by an immigrant that has sojourned there for barely 14 years. A lone United Conservative Party, UCP, lawmaker in Edmonton. Kaycee won in one of the closest races in the provincial election, garnering 7,742 votes to beat his competitors: John Archer of the New Democrat Party, NDP, who polled 6,974 votes; Mo Elsalhy of the AP with 2,111 votes; Marilyn Burns of the AAP who polled 178 and Rigel Vincent of the GPA with 108 when 62 of 64 polls reported.

The significance of his victory is underscored by the fact that Edmonton remains solidly orange, an opposition column. When Kaycee won the UCP nomination in December 2018 defeating fellow party members Sohail Quadri and Kevin Greco, the then party leader, Jason Kenney, who also took oath of office as Alberta Premier, issued a statement extolling the candidate. “Today, more than 1000 United Conservative members in Edmonton-South West cast ballots for their preferred candidate for the next election from amongst three great contestants. I would like to congratulate Kaycee Madu on winning this highly competitive race. Kaycee is a committed conservative, a lawyer, and a father of three.

Prior to coming to Canada with his wife, Emem, Kaycee graduated from the law school and was subsequently called to the Bar in Nigeria. He has since established a law firm in Edmonton where he continues to practice. “Kaycee enjoys giving back to the community and volunteers his legal skills with the Law Society of Alberta Lawyer Referral Program and the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, ECLC. He is a member of the Igbo Cultural Association of Edmonton and supports his community league activities and his church. Kaycee’s legal expertise and his unique understanding of the challenges faced by newcomers to Canada make him a valuable member of the United Conservative team as we work to present Albertans with a common-sense alternative to the NDP. I am pleased to welcome Kaycee as the United Conservative candidate in Edmonton-South West.” His law firm’s website says as much, stating that he is a lawyer with a background in civil litigation and employment law who has worked for the provincial government under the Progressive Conservatives, helping review and develop laws and policies around the minimum wage. Alberta’s temporary foreign worker programme, employment standards for firefighters, and youth employment.

These are the values that matter. In Canada, as exemplified in Kaycee’s (E1) meteoric rise in the Alberta political circuit, an individual’s character and the qualities he brings to the leadership table matter in the recruitment process. But not in Nigeria. After constituting the 23-member executive council,Kenney, Alberta’s 18th premier, who also took over the role of minister of intergovernmental affairs, said the main focus for his team over the next four years would be economic growth, job creation, getting pipelines built and standing up for Alberta. And the job, he declared, started there and then. “I promised Albertans we wouldn’t waste a day, or an hour, getting to work to renew the Alberta advantage. That begins this afternoon.” And to get the job done, what mattered most to the Premier is the diversity of his cabinet, which members speak 13 languages, have a variety of personal and professional backgrounds and an average age hovering around 40.

Kaycee migrated to Canada in 2005 with his wife who enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Alberta. Today, he is the toast of Canada’s political class. Few Canadians are asking as to whether the man who hails from Umuokirika community in Ahiazu-Mbaise local government area, Imo State, would have achieved such a great feat outside his home state in his country of birth, Nigeria.

Kelechi was determined very early in life to be a success. His perseverance is unrivaled.” Today, that doggedness has made his dream a reality. He is the first Nigerian to be elected Member of Parliament in Alberta, Canada. In his remark, Kaycee said: “The question that concentrated my mind as I savoured the good news is, what if? What if he had contested this election in Lagos State in the same 2019? Fourteen years after migrating to Canada,”? The 45-year- old Nigerian lawyer of very humble background, with neither a political godfather nor deep pocket has just become a major political force while his kith and kin back home in Nigeria are visited with violence in some parts of the country for daring to vote for candidates of their choice in a general election.

For daring to exercise their franchise, they have been told that they are illegal immigrants who should be seen but not heard in their own country. For daring to vote according to their conscience, they have been branded unconscionable land grabbers. Even after the elections have been won and lost, their businesses are systematically being targeted by those who claim they own the land.

When he was announced winner, Kelechi tweeted: “I am humbled and honoured to be standing before you, no longer as a candidate, but as the MLA-elect for #yegsw … this is my home and Alberta’s capital city, and it deserves strong representation in the legislature.” That is what matters. It is a call to service. 2019 elections not declaration of war.”

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