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Nigerian Zulfat Suara becomes first Muslim to be elected into Nashville city government in US

Valentine Chinyem

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A Nigerian, Zulfat Suara, has won a seat for Nashville Metro Council in, Tennessee, United States of America. This was confirmed by the Election Board on Thursday. With the result, Suara is now the first Muslim to be elected into the Metro Nashville Council. Suara moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 1993 when her husband was offered a fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She quickly adjusted to lifestyle in the new town. This saw her establiahing her own accounting firm in 1998. She worked with Meharry Medical College as the school’s Assistant Controller. Fox17Nashville, reports Suara as saying, “I know it sounds cliche, but I want to give back to a city which has given so much to me and my family.” She added that, “I see through my daughter how schools in the city need more funding. I see the cost of living going up but wages staying the same.” More so, she added that she wants the honor of the job because of the people, despite the hige relious difference. “Of course, it comes up,” Suara says of her Muslim religion. “But I have been in the community a long time, I’ve advocated for the community for a long time, and people have been very good to us. They have been very receptive,” She noted. Suara, had i. August, won a run-off amid a crowded field for an at-large seat on the city government. There were 15 candidates vying for just five vacant at-large seats; this is including the incumbent, Bob Mendes, who won one of the seats outrightly. Suara and seven others had to battle it out for the remaining four seats in a run-off election. She however stunned everyone including herself, after not just qualifying for the run-off, but finishing with the second-highest percentage of votes behind Mendes.