2023: PDP gladiators jostling for Southern Kaduna senatorial ticket

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With about 14 months to the 2023 general elections, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna South Senatorial District are already warming up to contest for the senatorial seat.
The senatorial zone has been a stronghold for the PDP since 1999.
However, recent political developments in the area, especially the 2021 Local Government polls, has shown that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is making an inroad to the area.
The PDP’s top contenders for the senatorial ticket are Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba and the incumbent, Senator Danjuma La’ah.

Hon. Katung

Katung, a lawyer and former lawmaker who represented Zangon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency in 2015 to 2018, is considered as the most experienced with a large support base across all divides in the area.
This was part of the reasons why he was nominated as the running mate to Hon. Isa Ashiru, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kaduna state in the 2019 elections.
With his vast experience as a lawyer and politician, observers opined that he is the man cut out for the job.
Katung served as commissioner for finance and later water resources during the administrations of the late governor of Kaduna state, Mr. Patrick Yakowa in 2010 and Muktar Yero who succeeded Yakowa.
Described as “a bridge builder and a politician with an intellectual touch, observers said with his network of connections across the country he has the capacity to persuade and influence developmental programmmes to the senatorial zone.
Besides politics, he is also a philanthropist whose activities have impacted positive on the people at the grassroots.
His foundation, the Sunday Marshall Katung Foundation which he established, is said to have contributed immensely in assisting the less privileged.
Katung was in the forefront for the provision of relief materials to hundreds of victims of banditry attacks in Southern Kaduna communities as well as communities in Kajuru and Chikun Local Government Areas in Kaduna Central Senatorial district.
He also initiated scholarship scheme to assist indigent students acquire education.
During his one term tenure in the House of Representatives Katung was said to have initiated programmes that impacted positively on the people, especially women and unemployed youths.
He was said to be the force behind the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Kachia-Kwoi and Kachia-Zonkwa-Samaru roads by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) while serving as a lawmaker representing Zangon Kataf/ Jaba federal constituency.
The former lawmaker is said to have set up solid structures and is reaching out to key stakeholders to support his ambition for the PDP senatorial ticket.

Hon. Jagaba

Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba, described as a grassroots politician, is another strong contender for the senatorial ticket.
He was elected three times as member of the National Assembly who represented Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency at different intervals since 1999.
He had earlier served vice chairman of Kagarko LGA between 1997 and 1998 after which he was appointed Chairman, interim management committee of the council.
Jagaba was also at a time, Kaduna state secretary of the PDP.
This will be the second time he would be running for the senatorial ticket. He contested for seat in 2019 but lost.
During his three – term  tenure in the House of Representatives, he was said to have initiated some welfare programmes for the people as well as employment of about 200 youths across Southern Kaduna in the Federal Civil Service.

Senator La’ah

Danjuma La’ah, is a force to be reckoned with as an incumbent. La’ah is the Chairman Senate, Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs.
He was elected to the senate in 2015 and was re-elected again in 2019.
He is said to be the first senator to be re-elected for two terms in the history of the senatorial zone.
His predecessors –  Senators Zego Azeez, late Isaiah Balat, Caleb Zegi and Nenadi Usman, were said to have lost in their bids for re-election during their time.
La’ah wants a to retain the seat for a third term.
After retiring as Deputy Director, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), he went into business before joining politics.
He is said to be the “biggest employer of labour” in the senatorial zone.
As a serving senator, he is also said to have attracted a number of projects to the senatorial zone and facilitated the employment of many job seekers.
La’ah is also said to have intervened  in the education, health and security sectors in the senatorial district by renovating two dilapidated Primary Schools in each of the  eight Local Government Areas in the senatorial district as well as procuring hospital equipment (beds, blankets, microscopes, Generators, Fridges , motorcycles etc) worth over N100 million to 38 primary health centres in the area.
He also assisted in  tackling the security challenges in the area by purchasing 100 motorcycles to vigilantes groups.
He was said to have constructed and furnished an auditorium with over 260 seats as well as some computers which he donated to National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) campus in the area.

Hon. Garba

Also in the race is Hon. Nicholas Garba, a serving member of the House of Representatives for Jema’a/Sanga Federal Constituency. Garba who is the Chairman, House Committee on Anti Corruption is said to be a formidable aspirant with a large support base.
Also eyeing the senatorial seat is,  Mr. Zakariya Suleiman Dauke, a retired manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Mr. Dauke

Dauke, though a new entrant in politics, is said to be a man of the people who is not a push over.
More aspirants, especially from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to declare their interest in the days ahead. Analysts are of the view that the contest would be tough, considering the calibre of the aspirants and the sophisticated political awareness in the senatorial zone.

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