Bantex, who died at the age of 64, served as deputy governor between 2015 and 2019.
He left in 2019 to contest the Kaduna South Senatorial election but lost to the PDP.
Gov. Nasil El Rufail described his death asa personal loss to him and a sad development to the state.
El Rufai said Bantex was a highly resourceful leader, patriot, whose friendship with him lasted more than 40 years.
He described Bantex as a good man whose emergence made the office of the Deputy Governor in the state, a very powerful position in Nigeria.
He said such was the esteem in which Bantex was held, as he was the only deputy governor to be part of the President’s entourage to the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.
He pointed out that successive deputy governors in Kaduna State had always been held in great esteem.
” He acted as state governor, leading with integrity and chairing our State Executive Council so many times when I was out of the country.
‘’ Bantex also chaired our KADIPA, SEMA, JAAC, Power Reform Committee, Ease of Doing Business Committee and the State Tenders Board at various times,’’ he said..
El Rufai noted that the deceased was a great ambassador for Kaduna State at various national and international events.
The governor said Bantex was steadfast, courageous and collegial.
El Rufai said that Kaduna State would miss him for coming out of retirement to establish the APC in Kaduna State.
According to El Rufai, Bantex was the first elected chairman of APC in the state and thereafter his running mate personally selected by President Buhari from a shortlisted names in 2014.
“Bantex, a former local government chairman, was an authority in local government administration and responsible for the autonomy we granted all our LGAs when we assumed office in 2015,’’ he said.
“Bantex convinced the state’s Cabinet to legislate on the presidential system of local government- first in Kaduna State and few states in Nigeria.”
The governor disclosed that he and Bantex had never argued with each other , let alone quarreled as was widely rumoured at the beginning of the administration.
‘’The only disagreement we ever had had to do with his offer to resign as deputy governor thrice. Thrice I rejected the offer.
‘’He offered to resign because he felt that the hostility of some leaders, groups and associations from his senatorial district would be reduced if he resigned, and if I conceded to such persons, the right to nominate his replacement.
‘’ I assured Bantex that under no circumstances will any person or group dictate who I work with as deputy governor.
“I appealed to him to stay and he agreed. I am very grateful to him for that,’’ El Rufai revealed.
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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