SMK: Envisioning New Legislative Dawn



When the Presidential and National Assembly polls shall be held this Saturday; it will afford the electorate in Kaduna South Senatorial District, popularly called Zone 3, another opportunity to elect a senator to represent them in the next four years. Considering the misgivings about the roles of legislators, especially in the vain attempt to equate them with members of the executive arm, Nigerians are often misguided into believing that they are also expected to provide what Nigerians have come to identify as dividends of democracy.

It is on this basis that lawmakers now resort to lobbying the executive for employment opportunities, infrastructural developments, among others, to their constituents, rather than contributing to the law-making process for the good governance of the country. Sadly, citizens have embraced the warp perception that sees lawmakers as competing with members of the executive arm in providing job opportunities and infrastructural development for their constituents. While it is not out of place for lawmakers to seek such opportunities for their constituents; it is not within their core mandates as legislators.

Without a doubt, the Kaduna South Zone can best be described as the stronghold of the PDP. Throughout 16 years of the PDP years in power from 1999-2015, the Kaduna South Zone benefitted from several appointments and infrastructural developments. The APC-led government, comprising old members of the PDP that conspired to defeat President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, deliberately rebuffed efforts at extricating the foundation of the PDP through outright neglect and enthronement of exploitative measures aimed at reducing the zone into political nothingness. The past eight years of the poor performance by the APC in the state has been a chilling nightmare as many parts of the state suffered horrendous tragedies of monumental proportions.

 Despite efforts aimed at renegotiating the politics of the zone to form a rainbow coalition for the defence of the interest of the people across religious, ethnic and socio-economic divides, the ancient landmarks of partisanship are set to play out, with the old party poised at maintaining its dominance. Having defeated incumbent Senator Danjuma La’ah for the PDP senatorial ticket, the former member of the House of Representatives and running mate to Isah Ashiru in the 2019 Kaduna governorship poll, Hon, Sunday Marshall Katung, is poised to breast the tape in the race. After becoming a member of the lower chamber of the National Assembly in 2015, the silent attorney who remains a key player in the background seems to possess the winning aces.

Hon. Katung combines intelligence, humility and uncommon deep commitment towards raising the bar of legislative representation. Beyond promising quality representation, he has capacity in broadening collaboration beyond his zone to engender development for his constituents. Having been a member of the National Assembly, his victory in Saturday’s polls will enable him to return to the federal legislative chamber as a ranking member. Beyond his commitment, Katung recalls that  “Southern Kaduna in particular have been hard hit with all forms of insecurity like Armed Banditry, Kidnapping, and farmer-herder/Fulani clashes”.

As someone who was once a member of the Kaduna State Executive Council, under Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, Katung is set to bring about his invaluable experience to change the political thinking of his people who see politics as benefiting only those involved and  their immediate family members. Katung has also avoided beer parlour gossip; an act that has brought dignity to the campaign.

Relying on a rich educational background, Katung, who was born on 1st April 1961, in Madakiya, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, attended his primary school in Madakiya. He was at the Kufena College, Wusasa in Zaria from 1975 to 1980. Between 1980 and 1982; he was at the College of Advanced Studies, Zaria, for the Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) examination. After completing his LL.B (Hons) degree at the University of Lagos in 1986, he attended his Nigerian Law School, Victoria island, Lagos, from 1986 to 1987.  He would later obtain a Post-graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) in 2005, and later Master in International Law and Diplomacy in 2014.

Besides the above, Katung attended several courses in the country and abroad that has helped to broaden his understanding and sharpen his skills in legal drafting. Some of the courses include an Advanced Diploma in Legal Drafting and Conveyance  at the Institute of  Advanced Legal Studies, Akoka-Lagos;  ‘Leaders and Development’ at the Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts, USA;  ‘Post-privatisation: Managing the Challenge, at the International Law Institute, Washington DC, and Company Secretaries and Corporate Legal Advisers course at the London Management School.

In a 15-page document encapsulating his social contract for a decade (2023-2033), entitled, ‘A New Beginning: Kaduna South Senatorial District (SMK Roadmap 2023-2033)’  Katung  notes: “We will fashion out a common legislative agenda focusing on areas of immense interest to our people: Security, Agriculture, Power and water supply, Education, Youth and Women empowerment etc. We will deploy the wealth of experience of the southern Kaduna Professors and professionals and other relevant NGOs to serve as consultants on this effort. At the beginning of each budget circle we will jointly identify areas of interest to our zone”.

He has promised to carry along all critical stakeholders in realising the goals of pulling Kaduna South Zone from the hole of despair and insecurity by collaborating with the people, relevant security organisation and government in securing the lives of citizens from the terror unleashed on people by men from the caves. In his words: “Life has simply been grounded almost to a halt. The insecurity has led to needless loss of so many lives; it has meant people can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed. Security will therefore be at the front burner of my legislative responsibilities. This I’ll do by way of lawmaking and collaboration with relevant government organizations.

“When I was in the House of Representatives, I had the privilege of serving in committees relating to security. I will tap from the experience and connection and build on them. I will work tirelessly with the relevant organs of government, especially the Executive branch to ensure that the security challenges facing our people are brought to the front burner”.

The former federal lawmaker is the only candidate that has come up with a 10 year-old legislative robust programme aimed at salvaging the zone from self-inflicted woes and painful neglect by the present APC-led government. His vision comes with a promise of engaging critical stakeholders in getting involved towards making Kaduna South work in partnership towards salvaging the Zone from its present dilemma.

Having been engaged in campaign trails that have taken to the eight local government areas of the Kaduna South Senatorial District, Katung has left no one in doubt of his dominance. More importantly, he has engaged members of various ethnic groups by giving them a sense of belonging to ensure his victory.

More than anything, Katung has brought a template upon which he can be assessed. With the Nigerian democracy deepening, stakeholders and analysts won’t be in the dark to assess how far the #GetInvolved2023 campaign can be reviewed in determining its success or otherwise in the future. It is incontrovertible that a vote for Katung this Saturday is a vote for the strong hand that can be trusted to deliver. Thereafter, the zone must never relent in holding him accountable for the promised new dawn in political representation.

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