May 25, 2024

Nigerian Senator’s wife, Abigail Katung sworn in as first African Lord Mayor of Leeds

Nigerian Senator’s wife, Abigail Katung sworn in as first African Lord Mayor of Leeds

Abigail Marshall Katung, first African councillor of Leeds

By Biodun Busari

Nigerian-British politician, Mrs Abigail Marshall Katung, has emerged as the first African Lord Mayor of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, and has been officially sworn in at a council meeting.

Abigail Marshall Katung takes over the role from Al Garthwaite to become the city’s 130th lord mayor and the first person of African descent to hold the position.

She is the wife of Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, representing Kaduna South Senatorial District.

“Since arriving in Leeds in 2000, the city quickly became my cherished second home,” Mrs Marshall Katung said.

Born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Mrs Marshall Katung came to the United Kingdom to study at the University of Leeds.

She is an athletics coach, and recently became the Governor of Leeds City College in January 2024.

Her new position as the lord mayor of Leeds has made her the first elected councilor from Africa to hold the council position.

Mrs Katung has also become the second black person after Eileen Taylor and the 130th of all.

Speaking about the historic feat, Mrs Katung said her new position has become a glittering case of contribution for foreign students in the UK celebrated on the African continent.

“It was not just the city where I lived, studied and worked, it’s where I chose to raise my children and become a public servant,” she said.

“My appointment as lord mayor has been widely celebrated in the city’s African community and is a shining example of the enormous contribution international students make to UK society.

“As lord mayor of Leeds, I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure voices are heard from all areas of the city and every triumph is recognised and celebrated.”