Celebrating Abigail Katung’s Appointment as Leeds’ First Mayor of African Descent

By Alim Abubakre


It is with immense pride and heartfelt congratulations that TEXEM celebrates the appointment of Abigail Marshall Katung as the Lord Mayor of Leeds. This monumental achievement is a testament to her dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to public service. It also marks a significant milestone in the enduring relationship between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, symbolising a beacon of hope and opportunity for the Nigerian diaspora and the broader African community.

Abigail’s journey from growing up in Nigeria to becoming a distinguished leader in one of the UK’s major cities is nothing short of inspirational. Her election as Lord Mayor is not only a personal triumph but also a collective victory for all Nigerians and Africans who aspire to make meaningful contributions on the global stage. Her role as a councillor for the Labour and Co-operative Party and her previous service as Chair of the Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment, and Inclusive Growth) underscore her commitment to tackling injustices, inequalities and promoting a fairer, more prosperous society.

On behalf of TEXEM, UK, I extend my deepest gratitude to her husband Senator Katung, whose steadfast support has been instrumental in Abigail’s journey. He is her husband. Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, a Senator Representing Kaduna South Senatorial District since 2023.

This shared success underscores the vital role that family and community support play in achieving remarkable accomplishments. Senator Katung’s contributions to public service, along with his unwavering support for Abigail, are commendable and reflect the strength and unity of their partnership.

We also recognise the Nigerian Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Governor of Kaduna State for their recognition and support of Abigail’s achievements. Their acknowledgement not only honours Abigail but also highlights the importance of celebrating and uplifting exemplary citizens who make significant strides in international arenas.

Hon. Abike Dabiri’s relentless efforts in championing diaspora affairs have paved the way for countless Nigerians abroad to thrive and contribute meaningfully to their host countries and homeland. Her advocacy has been pivotal in creating a supportive environment for the diaspora, enabling success stories like Abigail’s to flourish.

To President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the good people of Nigeria, Abigail’s appointment is a moment of national pride. It reflects the rich potential of Nigerian citizens to excel and lead in various fields globally. Her achievement can serve as a powerful catalyst to strengthen ties between Nigeria and the UK, enhancing diplomatic relations and fostering greater collaboration.

Abigail Katung’s appointment as Lord Mayor of Leeds presents a unique opportunity to enhance Nigeria’s and Africa’s brand equity and soft power. Just as India has leveraged the strength of its diaspora to unlock value in international relations, talent acquisition, volunteer programs, and foreign direct investment, Nigeria can harness more of the potential of its global citizens to achieve similar success. By celebrating and supporting diaspora achievements, Nigeria can attract significant investments and foster initiatives that benefit Nigeria (see my article at  https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/10/05/seven-quick-wins-for-national-prosperity-post-62nd-independence-anniversary-dr-alim-abubakre/  ) and the entire African continent.

In conclusion, Abigail Marshall Katung’s new role is a testament to the power of perseverance, the strength of community, and the boundless potential of the Nigerian diaspora. Her leadership will undoubtedly inspire many and serve as a shining example of what can be achieved through dedication and a commitment to service. We congratulate Abigail and her family on this remarkable achievement and look forward to witnessing the positive impact of her leadership in Leeds and beyond.

*Dr. Alim Abubakre is Founder, TEXEM, UK

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