Friday , June 21 2024

Nigerian-born woman becomes first African Lord Mayor of Leeds

A woman of Nigerian descent, Abigail Katung, has been inaugurated as the 130th Lord Mayor of Leeds City, England, marking the first time a person of African descent has occupied this prestigious position.
A woman of Nigerian descent, Abigail Katung, has been inaugurated as the 130th Lord Mayor of Leeds City, England, marking the first time a person
 

The formal announcement came during the Leeds City Council’s annual general meeting on Thursday night.

Abigail Marshall Katung, taking over from the previous Lord Mayor, Al Garthwaite, will be supported throughout her tenure by her husband, Nigerian Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, who will serve as the Lord Mayor Consort.

Born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Katung moved to the UK in 2000 to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Leeds.

Before her election as Lord Mayor, Katung made significant contributions to the Leeds community.

She was the first African to become a ward member of the Leeds City Council in 2019, representing the culturally rich Little London and Woodhouse ward. Her re-election in 2023 underscored her commitment and popularity within the community.

Throughout her career, Katung has held various roles, including chairing several scrutiny boards, leading initiatives on hate crime, education, and public health, and advocating for faith and belief communities.

Speaking on her new role, Katung expressed her gratitude and commitment to inclusivity, stating, “It is with great appreciation and humility that I embrace the privilege of becoming this great city’s 130th Lord Mayor. Leeds became my cherished second home, and it’s where I chose to become a public servant.”

Her appointment has been celebrated as a significant milestone, particularly within Leeds’s African community.

Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar congratulated Katung and acknowledged her achievement as a testament to Nigerians’ global prowess and talent.

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