Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Arch. Barnabas Bala Bantex on Thursday declared his intention to contest for the Senate in the Southern senatorial zone.
By his declaration, Bantex has dropped his position as Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s running mate in the 2019 governorship race, which his principal had since declared for.
The Deputy Governor said his decision was taken to give his people quality representation and address national issues affecting them.
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Bantex, who intends to contest on All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket, said he took the difficult decision due to what his people have gone through in the area of insecurity in the last 10 years and the inability of their leaders to rise against it, when it could have easily been done, coupled with the need to give good leadership that would drag the zone from quagmire into greatness and progression.
Reading a speech titled ‘Southern Politics is Bridge-Building, not a Pity Party’, the Deputy Governor said, “with utmost confidence in the fair-mindedness, the results accomplished, and the work being done by the APC government of Kaduna state, under the leadership of Malam Nasir el-Rufai, I have decided to offer myself as the APC candidate for the Kaduna South Senatorial District in the forthcoming 2019 election.
“I will continue to serve as Deputy Governor of Kaduna state while pursuing this aspiration. As Deputy Governor, I have had several opportunities to witness this commitment to equity, and I regret that some of the elected representation from my zone has not matched this broad-mindedness and constructive approach, in the interest of our people in Zone 3.
“I have therefore come to the conclusion that it is worth leaving the office of Deputy Governor to put these issues on the ballot, to encourage more mature and sober political discourse in the area, in order to deliver the desired quality of representation for our people, and attract the maximum dividend of democracy.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me in view of the uncommon goodwill and brotherly relationship that I currently enjoy with Malam Nasir El-Rufai who has elevated the relationship between Governor and Deputy Governor to a level of mutual respect, engagement, and involvement that is unparalleled in our democracy.”
Speaking on the achievements of the current el-Rufai administration that gave him hope of being elected, Bala, who was first elected chairman of APC in Kaduna state, said, “I have had the great pleasure to work with a team that has achieved a lot in human capital development, making health and education more accessible to ordinary people, building infrastructure and vigorously promoting equality of opportunity.”
He said the government has been able to resist blackmail by those seeking political patronage and forces accustomed to benefitting from deliberate stoking of ethnoreligious fires, to achieve electronic voting, implementing TSA, remaking public service, recruiting qualified teachers, equipping primary health centres, building township roads and creating jobs in the public and private sectors.
He said is aspiration aimed at ensuring equitable development of his zone to ensure that the people enjoy improved commensurate dividends of democracy better than before.
“It is my firm intention to run on the record of the el-Rufai government in promoting development across the state. I am fully prepared to challenge anyone that represents the failures of the past in delivering the best for our people. I am convinced that it is time for our people to firmly reject the poorest senatorial representation Zone 3 has had since 1999.
“By God’s grace, and with the support of the people, I have been privileged to serve as a Member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Action Congress. I understood that such an office imposed on me a duty of responsible representation, and this obligation led me to seek and maintain good relations with the State Governor at the time, Namadi Sambo despite his being of the PDP.”