Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Architect Bala Barnabas Bantex has disclosed that he will not be Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s running mate in 2019.
The Deputy Governor allegedly gave the hint at an emergency meeting with all political appointees from Southern Kaduna extraction he personally summoned at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House (Govt House) on Tuesday.
According to a government house source who pleaded anonymity, “the deputy governor was force to take his decision under duress by powers that be. Things are very difficult for him which has not allow him to perform effectively, particularly from the region he is coming from.”
The source further revealed that the deputy governor gave reason to his health condition, saying “the deputy governor disclosed at the meeting that due to his health performance he will not be el-Rufai running mate come 2019, but disclosed plans to contesting for the Senatorial seat of Kaduna South”.
Another reason that might have forced Bantex to jettison the idea was not unconnected to his growing unpopularity from among his Southern Kaduna people.
“At the end of the meeting, Bantex asked all the appointees to go and think over his decision and report back to him,” our Source said.
The source added that, Bala Bantex had wanted to resigned as the Kaduna deputy governor for about three consecutive terms but el-Rufai was said to have rejected his resignation.
When contacted on a telephone interview, the press Secretary to the deputy governor, Mr. Mannasseh Istifanus said, “the deputy Governor Architect Bala Barnabas Bantex was nominated by the Governor himself in 2015, whether the deputy governor wants to run with the Governor in 2019 or not, he is not in position to determine that,” he said.
“Its is the governor that picks a running mate, it is there in the Nigeria’s constitution. These allegation you should know are baseless as a Journalist,” Mannasseh said.
According to him, “the Governor and his deputy are having a mandate which has not expired yet, and it is not in the making of anybody to make any decision now, lets wait for the mandate to expired first.”
Commenting on Bantex decision to run for Southern Kaduna Senatorial seat, he said, “he is the bonafide Son of the soil, he has the right to contest for anything he wants, he doesn’t need to consult anybody.” He concluded.
Meanwhile, another information revealed that some members of the House of Assembly from Kaduna State have concluded arrangements to dump the All Progressives Congress with Senators Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, Shehu Sani and couple of House of Representatives members in few days time.