A Nigerian man of Igbo extraction, Kaycee Madu, has been appointed as new Justice Minister and Solicitor General in Canada,
This was made known by Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday.
He said Madu is Alberta’s new justice minister and solicitor general during a cabinet shuffle on Tuesday.
Reacting via his Twitter handle, Madu said : “Thank you, everyone, for all the well wishes. I am beyond humbled to accept my new role as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General – where I will pursue fairness, equality, and justice for all with every ounce of strength I have.”
“[Madu] is a man who has experienced racial prejudice firsthand and can bring that sensitivity to this important role,” Kenney said. “I’m excited to have him in that position.”
The premier said Madu is the first Black Canadian to occupy either provincial or federal justice positions of the justice minister, attorney general or solicitor general.
Premier Jason Kenney says Kaycee Madu’s appointment as Minister of Justice is a powerful statement against racism. Born and raised in southeastern Nigeria, Madu graduated from the University of Lagos with a law degree in 2001. He and his wife moved to Canada in 2005. They have three children.
Madu, who has practised law in both Nigeria and Alberta, was first elected as an MLA in the April 2019 general election.
Dunia Nur, president of the Edmonton-based African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, said Madu has become a role model for the community.
“Whether we agree with one party or another that doesn’t really matter, especially for the Black voice right now,” Nur said in an interview Tuesday.
“What matters is effective Black people that are educated, that have integrity, that also have education background, are the ones that are occupying the space.”
The council promotes and strengthens opportunities for members of the African, Caribbean and Black communities across Canada.
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Nur said Madu is well suited to his new role, not only because of his background as a lawyer but also because he is an active member of the African community.
“Historically, these are positions that have been occupied by white men that have no understanding of the disproportional impact of the justice system and what Black communities experience,” she said.
“By him being the minister of justice, it shows that the government is listening.”