Politics

el-Rufai mourns his ex-deputy, Bantex; declares July 12 work-free day

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A former deputy governor of Kaduna state, Architect Bala Barnabas Bantex, on Sunday, was announced to have kicked the bucket.

He served as Deputy Governor of Kaduna State from May 2015 to May 2019

Describing the deceased sudden demise, his former boss and governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai said he has lost a dear friend and partner in the service of Kaduna state.

The Governor, in a statement on Sunday he personally signed, said it was in the midst of trying times that he “received with utter sadness news of the departure of my friend and brother, His Excellency Barnabas Yusuf Bala (Bantex).

The statement read: “From our days as undergraduates in the 1970s to our practice as professional colleagues in the construction industry and eventually partners in a governance project, Bantex was consistently a dependable man of brilliance and imagination. He believed in the potential of our state and in the capacity of our people to work together for progressive attainments.

“Together, we took on the task of providing new leadership for Kaduna State in 2015.

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“He brought to his duties as Deputy Governor during our first term his unique insights as a politician with experience in navigating the diversity of our state. Bantex radiated hope and optimism in the future of our state, even when the circumstances were dreary.

“Bantex had served the people of Kaduna State in several capacities prior to becoming Deputy Governor. As a delegate to the 1994 Constitutional Conference, chairman of Kaura Local Government Council and member for Kaura Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, he was a sterling symbol of representative democracy.

“We would miss his brilliance and his commitment to Kaduna State, his easygoing manners, his sense of humour and steadfastness to his convictions.

“I have spoken to his family and conveyed our condolence on behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State. We shall work closely with his family to grant a befitting farewell to a man who gave so much to this even when hobbled by ill-health.”

“We have been blessed to know Bantex and to work with him. We pray God to grant him peaceful repose and to comfort his wife, children and the entire family in this moment of grief and loss”, el-Rufai said in the statement.

The state government in honour of the memory of Bantex declared the 12th of July, 2021 as a work-free day in the state.

Bantex had resigned his position as the deputy governor to contest for the Kaduna South Senatorial seat under the All Progressive Congress (APC), but lost to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The incumbent, Sen. Danjuma La’ah, polled 2,301 votes to defeat Bantex who got 2,113 votes.

He once said during an encounter with journalists; ”My interest is so minute and nothing can compare to the interest of Kaduna State.”

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