Politics: List of Nigerian Ancestry in Elected Positions Abroad

Nigeria is home to more than 370 tribes and 500 languages. It is the most populous country in Africa and filled with a lot of good stuff despite in the midst of all sorts of gloom ridden news that come out of it occasionally.

With an abundance of talent, innovation and brilliance, many Nigerian names have made and are making notable feat in different walks of life from academia to business, sport, art engineering and more. Examples are:

  • Anthony Joshua – World heavyweight boxing champion.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor – Hollywood actor.
  • Maggie Aderin – Pocock – Space scientist.

As a matter of fact, according to 2017 statistics by the Migration Policy Institute based in Washington, DC in United States, 54% of Nigerian immigrants are most likely to occupy management positions, compared with 32% of the total foreign-born population and 39% of the US-born population.

Also, Nigerians have been described as the most highly educated of all groups in the US. 61% hold at least a bachelor’s degree compared with 31% of the total foreign-born population and 32% of the US-born population.

This article looks at the list of few people with Nigerian ancestry elected and appointed to important positions abroad.

Kaycee Madu

Born and raised in Owerri, Imo State, Madu is the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta, Canada. He was elected to the position in August 2020.

Previously, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 2019 representing the electoral district of Edmonton-South West and was designated as a Queen’s Counsel by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta via an Order-in-Council in March 2020.

Queen’s Counsel is said to be the highest honour awarded to lawyers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of law and society. Madu is a law graduate from University of Lagos.

Oye Owolewa

Owolewa was born in Nigeria and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended Boston Latin School and graduated in 2008. In 2014, he earned a doctorate in pharmacy from Northeastern University and moved to Washington to practise pharmacy.

In November 2020, he was elected as the shadow representative of the US House of Representatives from the District of Columbia. The posts of shadow congresspersons are held by elected or appointed government officials from subnational polities of the US, but they lack congressional vote.

Adewale Adeyemo

Adeyemo is the US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. He was previously the Deputy National Security Advisor (adviser) for International Economics and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama. He was also the first President of the Obama Foundation.

Aged 39, Adeyemo was born in Ibadan, Oyo State but raised in Southern California. He had his education at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Yale Law School.

Chi Onwurah

Born to Nigerian father and British mother, Onwurah has served as the Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central in the UK since 2010 and as shadow minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In 2020, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association while on April 9 she was appointed as shadow minister for Science, Research & Digital by a member of the British Parliament, Sir Keir Starmer.

Helen Grant

Grant was the first black woman of mixed heritage to be elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald. Previously, she served jointly as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities from 2012 to 2015 and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice from 2012 to 2013.

She was also the Minister for Sport and Tourism from 2013 to 2015. Grant was appointed as the Special Envoy of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Girls’ Education in January 2021.

Kate Osamor

Aged 53, Osamor is a Nigerian-British politician who has served as Member of Parliament for Edmonton since 2015. In 2014, she was elected a member of the National Executive Committee of the UK Labour Party.

She was previously appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development by Jeremy Corbyn in June 2016. But she resigned in December 2018 due to the events surrounding her son’s drugs conviction.

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