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Monday, December 6, 2010

Poland Welcomes First Black Member of Parliament

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

WARSAW, POLAND (ANS) -- A Nigerian-born pastor has become the first black member of Poland's lower house of parliament (Sejm) in what is being seen as a large step forward in the nation's race relations.

According to the website,  John Godson has held Polish

John Godson, Poland's first black Member of Parliament

citizenship for ten years. He will take the place of Civic Platform’s Hanna Zdanowska, who resigned from her parliamentary post after winning Sunday’s local government elections in Lodz.

Godson was previously serving as a local councillor in Poland’s central city.

In an interview with Polish Radio Lodz, Godson declared that he will still remain active in promoting his home city even though he will be spending much of his time in Warsaw on national affairs.

“I am from Lodz, I will live here, I want to die here and I want to be buried here,” the MP said, adding that he will commute to Warsaw to take part in parliamentary sessions.

The website reports that Godson stated that his policy agenda will include the improvement of infrastructure, as well as increasing access to broadband internet.

Godson said he will also work on bettering diplomatic relations with African countries, adding that Poland only has four embassies on the continent and that he wants to see Polish oil companies investing there.

The website states that in the last local government and council elections on November 21, Godson received Lodz’s second-choice vote from the Civic Platform list, gaining a place on the city’s municipal council. He was first elected to the Lodz city council in 2008.

Godson came to Poland in the first half of the 1990s and received Polish citizenship in 2000. He is a graduate of the Department of Agronomy at Abia State University in Nigeria and also holds a doctorate in human resource management. Godson continues to lecture at a number of universities throughout Poland.

Godson is also the president of the African Institute in Poland as well as a pastor of the Church of God in Christ, a Christian Pentecostal church active in Poland.

** Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ANS, is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Chief Reporter

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