By Edward Pama Auta
If you were ever in doubt about the stuff Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung, SMK, is made of or the love the people of his zone have for him, the flag-off of the PDP Campaign in Southern Kaduna on 6th February, 2023 should clear those doubts.
Katung whose senatorial campaign has been breaking limits took Southern Kaduna by storm, yet again, by assembling a group of highly influential local and national politicians like never before seen in our recent past as a zone. The former speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, sitting governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, former Governor and Leader of the PDP in Kaduna State, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, PDP gubernatorial candidate, Rt. Hon. Isa Mohammed Ashiru, PDP State Chairman, Hon. Felix Hassan Hyat took turns to extol the virtues of Katung and also admonished the people to vote for the other PDP Candidates of the party at all levels to the cheers and admiration of teeming supporters present. They also told the gathering what the people of the area should expect when he is voted into office come February 25, 2023.
Those who know the national assembly and its inner workings cannot help but agree that the choice of Katung by the PDP delegates is both strategic and proficient: strategic in the sense that he will make winning for himself and other candidates of the party easier; and proficient in the sense that he’s bringing a new way of getting the job done in the zone. His campaign strategy of connecting directly with the people; identifying and meeting with stakeholder groups, visiting Chiefs and their Chiefdoms, has been paying off. His blend of experience in the HoR, private sector, state executive Council, and network of influential friends within and outside Nigeria stand him out as the New Face of Southern Kaduna.
Everyone, including those in the opposition in the zone, is with SMK and no one shies away from admitting it both overtly and covertly. For example, prior to the flag-off of the campaigns, a chieftain of the Labour Party, Jonah Pompah, together with his group, addressed a press conference to not only endorse the candidature of Katung for Senate, but also work for his emergence against the candidate of their party whom they claim is a serial betrayer and one lacking in substance for the huge task ahead of the Senator to represent the zone. Without any doubt, the choice of SMK is the choice of the people and it is a matter of time before even the naysayers come to terms with this great decision by the PDP delegates on behalf of the zone.
So, whether it is a principal officer of the senate that we want, attention to the killings in the zone, relief for victims of attack, and most importantly, federal presence and appointments, SMK’s network and connection across the bridge and the nation is potent enough to get the job done.
What he will need to meet or even surpass the high expectations of the people, however, is to have the president and governor of the state come from his party, the PDP. Having it that way makes lobbying for projects at state and national levels quite easy.
His promise to pursue a common legislative agenda for the entire zone is not only novel in the country but a piece of ingenuity. It is important to note that he is already doing that even in the campaigns as he carries the candidates along in all his engagements with the electorate. The intention is to create synergy between legislators at state and national levels for the betterment of everyone in the zone. Such ‘high tech’ politics will help to get the much needed support across chambers to get bills passed or signed into law by the president. If such a synergy existed, when the sitting Distinguished Senator sponsored a bill for the establishment of a federal medical centre or the upgrade of the Federal College of Statistics in Manchok, his brothers in the House of Representatives would have swung into action to swiftly and collectively lobby the presidency to give assent.
Remember that we will never be greater than our choices in an election; if we make great choices, great performances would be recorded in our dear nation, state, and respective constituencies; otherwise, we struggle again for another 4 years or more. Like they say in America, Elections have consequences.
I tell you, most sincerely, that with SMK, Ashiru, Atiku and all the members of our various constituencies coming from the PDP, the world is ours to conquer as a people who have been condemned to political orphanage by the APC at state and federal levels.
VOTE RIGHT, vote the PDP come February 25 and March 11, 2023 for a stronger, better, and prosperous southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, and Nigeria.
~Edward John Auta is a member of the PDP Campaign Management Committee in Kaduna State and hails from Narom Village of Zonkwa Ward in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State
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