A former Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Barnabas Yusuf Bala popularly known as Bantex, has died at the age of 64.
Daily Trust gathered from family sources that the ex-deputy governor who served with Gov Nasir El-Rufai between 2015 and 2019 died in a hospital in Abuja after a protracted illness.
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Gov El-Rufai, while formally announcing his death, described Bantex as a friend and brother who was a consistently dependable man of brilliance and imagination.
“In the midst of trying times, I have received with utter sadness news of the departure of my friend and brother, His Excellency, Barnabas Yusuf Bala (Bantex),” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared today, Monday, July 12, 2021, as work free day to honour the memory and service of Bantex.
Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari joined the government and people of Kaduna State to mourn the passing away of Arc Bantex.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, described the late Bantex as a true gentleman and consummate professional who would be fondly remembered for his many years of distinguished service in his home state, his patriotism to the nation, as well as forthrightness in politics.
He prayed God almighty to grant the departed eternal rest and comfort those who mourned the irreparable loss.
Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed sadness over the death of Bantex.
In a statement, ACF’s spokesman, Emmanuel Yawe, said at the ACF Bantex was considered an unusual gentleman who contributed in no modest way in stabilising the first tenure of the el-Rufai government.
The statement reads in part: “He had served his people in a similar manner at the local government level as Chairman of Kaura; state and federal levels as a member of the Constitutional Conference in 1994 and House of Representatives respectively.”
From From Lami Sadiq, Ahmed Ali (Kaduna) & Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja)