A Nigerian has been elected for the first time into the regional municipality of Wood Bufallo government, McMurray, Alberta Canada.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo includes Fort McMurray and 10 smaller communities.
In the election, according to CBS News, Wood Buffalo voters elected what is believed to be the most diverse council in the region’s history.
Mrs Funke Bankoko (nee Ogunsuyi), who has lived in Fort McMurray for 10 years, is the first Black woman elected to occupy that position in the history of the municipal election.
She campaigned hard for the position, and it showed as she received the highest number of votes for council with 4,788 among the six elected from 24 contestants in the ward.
Ekiti-born Banjoko and a princess from Ipoti/Igogo, who graduated in History from the University of Jos in 1989 and had a professional study in supply chain management at the Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Stamford University, United Kingdom, qualifying for MCIPS IN 1997, says, “I represent a group of people that maybe they didn’t feel they were represented before,” Banjoko said.
“When we bring our different strengths, experiences, skills…if we work together then we will achieve so much.”
Banjoko grew up with many political influences in her life, as her father was a mayor in Nigeria, her mother was a councillor and her brother was a commissioner and has most of her 30 years of work experience in the Oil and Gas industry both in Nigeria and currently in Canada.
“It’s only natural for me, she added.”
In the election, four of the 11 council members elected last week Monday were Métis, including Loretta Waquan, Kendrick Cardinal, Allan Grandison and mayor-elect Sandy Bowman.
Apart from Banjoko, Councillor-elect Dogar Shafiq emigrated from Pakistan and has lived in Fort McMurray since 2006. Three of the councillors are women.
Banjoko expressed appreciation to her UNIJOS classmates and families all around the globe whom she described as her global cheerleaders.