In this report, SUNDAY ISUWA writes on the choice of Hon Sunday Marshall Katung as the running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Kaduna State, Hon Isa Ashiru.
There was intense lobbying prior to the selection of the running mate to Hon Isa Ashiru, the candidate of the PDP in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kaduna State.
The person that has picked finally, Hon Sunday Marshall Katung, never showed interest. He was actually lobbying for another person to get the office, having secured a return ticket of the PDP to contest for a House of Representatives seat.
There were different groups in search for a deputy gubernatorial candidate, each lobbying to ensure that their choices made the list of people.
Ashiru, it was gathered, before traveling abroad told the people of Southern Kaduna to bring a running mate for him. He hails from Zone 1 of the state otherwise knowns as Kaduna North senatorial district. He is a former local government chairman, former member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and also a former member of the House of Representatives.
His emergence as the candidate of the PDP did not come to many as a surprise, having made attempts several times in the past but failed. Prior to the primary election, the PDP went into a serious search for a credible candidate. The criteria spelt out was that they needed a candidate with acceptability that can be marketed to every nook and cranny of the state. Almost all the aspirants that contested for the PDP gubernatorial ticket met the requirements but only one among them, Ashiru emerged.
Immediately after the primaries, the search for a running mate commenced. After all groups came up with their names, the member representing Zangon Kataf/Jaba federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Sunday Marshal Katung was picked.
It was gathered that Katung was busy strategising on how he will win his re-election bid in a PDP stronghold but the baton to run with Ashiru in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kaduna State was given to him on a platter of gold.
Even when he was reluctant, LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that Katung eventually succumbed to pressure from well-meaning people who believe he is a capable politician that will protect the interest of all and provide the needed unity and development in the state if they win. His choice, according to some analysts, will boost the chances of the PDP.
The first deputy governor that was picked from Zangon Kataf local government was James Bawa Magaji in 1992. Magaji had contested the gubernatorial primaries of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) but lost to Dabo Lere, under whom he served as the deputy governor.
Magaji was a vibrant politician the NRC couldn’t do without and he was picked as the running mate to Lere and they won.
In 1999, Stephen Rijo Shekari won a senatorial ticket under the platform of the PDP. His influence in the politics of Southern Kaduna propelled the then candidate of the PDP, Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi to pick him as his running mate.
Meanwhile, speaking to LEADERSHIPFriday on the emergence of Katung as the running mate to Ashiru, a strong member of the PDP and an aide to a former governor of Kaduna State, Victor Mathew Bobai, said the selection of Katung has brightened the chances of the PDP in 2019 election.
Bobai, who said the youth will rally round the PDP flag-bearers because of the choice of Katung, added that people who had interest in the office should also be carried along in order to give them a sense of belonging.
“If the youths are carried along, we can bring our support and ensure that the party wins in 2019 because Katung is from Zangon Kataf, the largest local government with a lot of voters.
“The aspirants that contested for the governorship ticket should be carried along. The party should work together for victory and there should be a serious reconciliation with the few people that might be aggrieved,” Bobai added.
For his part, a member of the party, Comrade Danjuma Bello Sarki, said: “I can say categorically that the choice of Katung is the best thing that has happened to the PDP.”
“Katung has the competence and the experience. Katung has been partnering with Ashiru for a very long time and they have mutual respect for each other. Their partnership will bring development to Kaduna State.
“Katung is a lawyer and financial expert whose impact was felt when he was the Commissioner of Finance in Kaduna State. He will bring his wealth of experience to bear on job creation, internally generated revenue and there will be a good partnership with the private sector.
“The duo have human feelings and as such, they will be sensitive to the plight of the people. People who were unjustly dismissed from their working place, the disputed issues about the sacking of the traditional rulers and the issue of human rights violations will be addressed and succour will come to the people of Kaduna,” Sarki added.
Katung, a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, holds a post-graduate Diploma in Management; and Masters degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the premier university of the north, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is currently undergoing his PhD programme in the same university.
He has served Kaduna State as both Commissioner for Finance and Water Resources and is currently a member of the House of Representatives. Katung, who is always poise to excel in every situation, despite the odds, is energetic, dynamic, proactive, action-minded and result-oriented individual with zest and zeal for working hard, both independently as well as in a team, especially in situations that demand strength of character.
He is also desirous of using knowledge, skill and experience to create value for the benefit of mankind. Born on April 1, 1961, Katung hails from Madakiya District in Zangon Kataf local government of Kaduna State.
Katung’s secondary education was at Kufena College, Wusasa Zaria from 1975 to 1980 before enrolling into the College of Arts & Science, Zaria from 1980-1982. He attended University of Lagos, Akoka from 1982-1986 and attended Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos from 1986-1987.
He obtained a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy in 2016, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), 2005, Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) 2000 and is currently undergoing his PhD programme in ABU Zaria.
He obtained an Advanced Diploma certificate in Legal Drafting and Conveyancing at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Akoka, Lagos and attended several courses which includes: Course on Public Enterprise Restructuring at the International Law Institute, Washington DC, USA. Course on Post-privatisation – Managing the Challenge at the International Law Institute, Washington DC, USA. Company Secretaries and Corporate Legal Adviser’s Course at the Management School, London. National Seminar on Company Law and Practice and Corporate Administration by AMIT Consultancy services LTD. Course on Negotiation of International Contracts by POTOMAC WORKSHOPS. Course on Legal and Financial Aspects of Pension Scheme and Trust Management by Lord SALISBURY CHAMBERS AND LIBRARY.
As a serving member, House of Representatives, Representing Zongo Kataf/Jaba, Federal Constituency, Kaduna State, between May 31st to 11th September, 2013, Katung was Commissioner of Finance, Kaduna State. From July, 2011 to May 31, he was Commissioner of Water Resources, Kaduna State and from July 2010 to May 2011, he was Commissioner of Finance, Kaduna State.
He was Company Secretary/Legal Adviser of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation where he reports to the Managing Director and the Chairman and Keeps the records and conducts the correspondence of the Company and performs such other duties as the Chairman or Managing Director does from time to time assign to his office which included Organising meetings of the Board and Board Committees; Preparing the agenda and the minutes of Board and Board Committee meetings; Prepares reports of various Committees of the Board for presentation at Board meetings; Conveys actionable decisions of the Board to members for implementation. Arranges for payment of fees, all allowances and other matters affecting members of the Board. Maintains custody of the Company’s legal documents, seals and others.
He oversees the drafting and vetting of agreements, oversees the processing of various staff loans, Liases with external Solicitors in matters of interest to the Corporation, Takes minutes at Board and Committee meetings of the Board and proffering general legal advice to the Corporation.
He also served in various Committees which includes: Strategic Management Conference Committee, consultations with staff Unions, Culture Committee and others.
Katung was also a board representative in the Corporation’s subsidiaries whose routine duties includes: Preparation of reports for the Managing Director’s attention. Liasing with the Bureau of Public Enterprise to facilitate the privatisation exercise of the corporation. Attending to mails of the Managing Director and drafting replies accordingly. Superintended overall administrative matters in the office of the Managing Director. Liase with Executive Directors on administrative matters. Co-ordinating overseas seminars, conferences and technical courses for the Managing Director. Co-ordinate correspondence and the Corporation’s relationship with international agencies viz West African Insurance Institute, African Insurance Organisation, Federation of Afro-Asian Insurers and Reinsurers and others.
Katung was also incharge of drafting the Managing Director’s speeches, memos as well as seminar and conference papers.
He review proposals at the instance of the Managing Director, Take up any other assignments as the Managing Director may delegate from time to time.
Katung also worked at the Directorate of Air Provost, Nigerian Airforce Headquarters, Lagos.
On his national assignments, Katung was a Member, PDP congress monitoring committee, Delta State, 2007. Member, PDP congress monitoring committee, Kogi state, 2008. Secretary PDP Congress Committee, Kaduna State.