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Soft Landing For Kaduna Dep. Gov. Barnabas Bala Bantex: Hard One Or A Crash?


The Oasis Reporters

July 10, 2018

Arc. Barnabas Bala Bantex, Kaduna State deputy Governor.

The rumour of a Southern Kaduna stakeholders meeting from the stables of the now jaundiced APC called at the instance of the Kaduna State Deputy Governor Arc. Barnabas Bala Bantex was said to have held at an undisclosed location here in Kaduna. I sourced this rumour at a drinking joint somewhere south of the Kaduna river. I do not drink alcohol and have not, all my life but I usually will go occasionally to some joint to enjoy the jokes which characterizes such places. The story may not be true after all but the storyteller spoke as if he was at the meeting and he did so without quibbling.
He narrated how the deputy Governor bared his mind on the issue of not contesting as deputy to Nasiru El Rufai in 2019.

First he had told the stakeholders how hectic and demanding the duties and responsibilities of the deputy Governor were relative to his present health condition. This was the main reason for his not going to contest the deputy Governorship position in 2019 according to him.

This was not all he had to say as he proceeded from there to inform his guest of his desire to contest for the Southern Senatorial seat but before diving into the Shark, Barracuda, Crocodile and Stingray infested political waters, he urged the APC stakeholders from Southern Kaduna to test the waters by consulting with the people after which the outcome will inform his decision.

Every pedestrian not only in the politics of Kaduna State but elsewhere knows that the position of deputy governor is akin to a baby strapped to the mother’s back, the mother being the governor. As deputy Governor, the Constitution has not prescribed any definite role or responsibility to that office. The deputy Governor therefore is what a spare tyre is to a car. Though this view is simplistic it is yet true.

A deputy governor’s relationship with his boss (the governor) defines the responsibilities he could be assigned too. It is therefore imperative for the deputy Governor to maintain a cordial and healthy relationship with his boss. Some people at a point did argue that the position of deputy be scrapped altogether since the Constitution did not assign any clear responsibilities to such an office. It is also rumoured that the dictator if he eventually decides to contest again in 2019 was considering an all Muslim ticket for governor and deputy. While our interest is good governance, we will not let our good selves be dragged into a debate which is faith based. The Mallam must have extracted much more than a pound of flesh from the people of Southern Kaduna already but we are surviving the injury with equanimity. We are patiently waiting for him to pick the gauntlet and throw himself up for re-election in 2019.

Before joining issues on the subject of contesting for the deputy governorship position come 2019 or that of the Southern Senatorial seat let as try to examine the deputy Governor of Kaduna State and his scorecard in the last 3 years that he has been deputy.

To start with, the people of Southern Kaduna thought and believed that we had one of our best for that position at the commencement of this political journey therefore the expectations were high. Please do permit me to draw a conclusion here before going back to justify such a conclusion about the deputy governor. The conclusion being that if the subject matter was viewed from the lense of an investor, the whole transaction would have been a bad investment which has not yielded any profit to the investors. I should state at this point that from the beginning, I was a front line defender of the El Rufai team pleading that the critics should give the regime some time to settle down. This was in the light of the firm believe I had in the campaign manifesto tagged “Let’s Make Kaduna Great Again “. The “Let’s” presupposed that the task of Making Kaduna Great Again was going to be a joint responsibility of the people of the State but the moment the regime was sworn into office, a different agenda began to unfold while key stakeholders remained as spectators.

When the genocide in Southern Kaduna started and in the deputy governor’s Local Government for that matter, and in the face of open hostilities against the entire people of Southern Kaduna by the dictator it was the deputy Governor who was denying facts which were before anyone with a conscience. At different times, he would berate his own people accusing them of reacting to the issues from in his exact words “A victim’s mentality “. I marvelled that such words could have come from our own, and son of the soil for that matter.
Perhaps Bantex did not see the corpses before they were horridly interred in mass graves. I have never heard or read of such insensitivity and lack of compassion. If Oga Bantex did not see the bodies before burial at the very least he did see the mounds indicating the place of burial. It is obvious that he acted the way he did to impress his boss who I suspected then was of unstable mind. Bantex simply turned his back on his own people to save his job.

When the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union sometime last year came to Kaduna to present the viewpoint of the Southern Kaduna People on the debate on Restructuring at the Unity Hall of Hamdala Hotel, the deputy Governor was an invitee and he presented an abridged paper. It is still unclear if he spoke extempore or he read from the script he came with, what is true is that he told our people that to the extent that we had our elected representatives in the House of Assembly the position of our people should have been routed through the Members. For daring to say what he said he was instantaneously booed and jeered and he left the Hall uncelebrated. Bantex may have thought that he was lecturing some 100 level political science students but he got much more than he may have bargained for. Given the quality of our so-called Honourables in the House of Assembly having been so thoroughly compromised by his boss I wonder on what basis he could have ventured out such an absurd viewpoint. Apart from the much hyped Vicampro project which was to have been sited in his native Kaura LGA which has all but evaporated into the atmosphere there is nothing of worth that Bantex as deputy Governor took to Kaura not to talk of the whole of Southern Kaduna. This is the worst regime that the State and Southern Kaduna have ever had. I wonder if the deputy Governor briefed his guest as to how many Southern Kaduna people were awarded any contract of note.

In summary therefore, Bantex’s tenure as deputy Governor has been a major disaster for the people of Southern Kaduna. The meeting with the stakeholders if it took place at all is to me an effort at preparing for a soft landing for the deputy Governor when the great party is over in 2019. As for the assignment he gave the Southern Kaduna APC stakeholders, if they are men/women of honour, they must return a negative outcome from their effort. I therefore do not see the possibility of a soft landing but rather a hard landing or worse a crash.

Written by Col. Dauda Gora (rtd).

He’s the R-APC Chairman in Kaduna state.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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