Barnabas Bantex, the Kaduna State deputy governor, on Thursday, July 26, 2018, declared his ambition to vie for the state’s South Senatorial seat.
The official, who made the declaration at a press conference, said he would still retain his position as deputy governor for now.
According to him, his quest to deliver ”quality representation to his people and attract maximum dividends of democracy made him declare”.
Mr. Bantex said the decision to vie was a difficult one owing to ”the uncommon goodwill and brotherly relationship he currently enjoys with his principal (governor 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.
“Our personal and official relationship has given me every confidence in the firm and enduring goodwill of Malam Nasir El-Rufai towards every part of the state. As deputy governor, I have had several opportunities to witness this commitment to equity.
“I regret that some of the elected representation from my zone have 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, encourage more mature and sober political discourse in the area,” he said.
“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, ” he added.
”I am convinced that it is time for our people to firmly reject the poorest senatorial representation Zone 3 has had since 1999,” he also said.
Mr. Bantex, who once served as a Member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Action Congress said the governor was ”understandably reluctant when he first told him about his ambition”.
“But I repeatedly pressed him to let me take this step. Nasir El-Rufai eventually conceded after briefing and securing the consent of the President on my desire to pursue this aspiration. This is the challenge that I am offering myself to lead, with the blessing of Almighty God,” he explained.