President Muhammadu Buhari, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Kaduna State, Mr. Philemon Kure, yesterday expressed shock over the death of former Kaduna State Deputy Governor Barnabas Bala (Bantex).
Bala, who was Kaduna State deputy governor from May 2015 to May 2019, died yesterday in a government hospital in Abuja.
He was 64.
“President Buhari believes that Bantex, a true gentleman and consummate professional, will be fondly remembered for his many years of distinguished service in his home state, his patriotism to the country as well as forthrightness in politics.
“The President also affirms that the former deputy governor, who served as Chairman of Kaura Local Government Area, was also the member representing Kaura Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
“The President extends his deepest condolences to the family of Bala, his friends, associates and many followers who benefited immensely from his responsible stewardship as a public servant and political office holder.
“President Buhari prays God Almighty to grant the departed eternal rest and comfort those who mourn the irreparable loss.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, ACF noted that the late “Bantex was considered an unusual gentleman who contributed in no modest way in stabilising the first tenure of El-Rufai’s government”.
It added: “The ACF condoles with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate family and Kaduna State on the loss of the great human asset known as Architect Barnabas Bala Yusuf (Bantex).”
Kure, who spoke with our correspondent in Kaduna, said Bala’s death was shocking.
The ADC state chairman stressed that the deceased would be fondly remembered for his great legacies, particularly in Southern Kaduna.
Also, the Kaduna State government has declared today as work-free day in honour of the late Bala, his memory and service to the state.
Governor El-Rufai said the late Bala gave his best to the state, despite his health challenge.
A statement announcing the work-free day by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, said: “Malam El-Rufai has sent a personal message of condolence to the family, noting that it was a blessing to know Bantex and to work with him.
“The governor acknowledged his commitment to the progress of Kaduna State and prayed God to grant him peaceful repose and to comfort his family.”