The immediate past Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Bala Bantex, is dead.
He died on Sunday at the age of 64 after battling with an undisclosed illness.
Until his death, the late Bantex served as Deputy to Governor Nasir El-Rufai between 2015 to 2019, before he resigned and contested for Kaduna South Senatorial seat on the platform of the All Progressive Congress in Kaduna South Senatorial District in the 2019 election.
He lost the election to the incumbent Senator, Danjumah Laah of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the death of his former Deputy, saying that he lost a dear friend and partner in the service of Kaduna State.
In a statement, Governor El-Rufai said the people of the state will miss the brilliance and commitment of the late Bantex to the state, his easygoing manners, his sense of humour and steadfastness to his convictions.
The Governor said: “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. 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.
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”.