Kaycee Madu, the Nigerian lawyer recently named minister of justice in Alberta, a Canadian province, says he looks forward to a day when appointments are based on hard work and merit in Nigeria.
Mr Madu, also known as Kelechi, relocated to Canada with his wife in 2005. At that time, he had graduated from the University of Lagos with a law degree and had been called to the Nigerian bar.
Before his recent appointment, he was a member of the legislative assembly of the province representing the district of Edmonton-South West after winning the 2019 Alberta general election.
On April 30, 2019, he was appointed to the Executive Council of Alberta as the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Premier Jason Kenney, in his address, said the appointment of Mr Madu, who is the first black man to be given such an opportunity, makes a powerful statement at a time when Albertans have grown more sensitive to racial prejudice.
However, in appreciation of the support coming from Nigeria and Nigerians in the Diaspora, Mr Madu stated that he anticipates the day “when Nigeria and Africa become places where hard work and merit are rewarded.”
Speaking with the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) Newsday, he said hard work and good work ethics earned him the new appointment.
“I have always said if you work hard and play by the rules, you can achieve your dream and that is so true in Canada and certainly so true in Alberta. I have always said that my story could only have been possible in my province of Alberta because in Alberta, it doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter the colour of your skin. What is important is your work ethic.”
When asked if he would have attained that feat if he was in his motherland, the minister said: “You know, I love my home country Nigeria, but there is no question that I look forward to the day when my fellow countrymen and women in that country can achieve their god-given potential regardless of the part of the country where they come from and regardless of who their parents are.”
He also corroborated the Premier’s statement on his appointment, noting that black people all over the world yearn for justice equality and the ability to pursue their God-given potentials.
“I do have a tremendous opportunity to make sure that we use the vehicle of the justice system to ensure that people are able to live their lives. In a way that allows them to achieve their god-given potential there is no question,” he said.
Speaking further, he restated Canada’s immigration policy which he termed friendly to legal immigrants including Nigerian citizens.
“We have been a nation that has been welcoming immigrants throughout our history and there is no question that if anyone from the continent once they come through legal means, they are welcome to Canada.”