By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The deputy governor of Kaduna state, Mr. Barnabas Bala Bantex, has declared his intention to contest for the Southern Kaduna senatorial seat in 2019.
Senator Danjumah Leah of the Peoples Democratic Party is the incumbent senator representing the zone.
The deputy givernor’s declaration confirms speculations that Governor Nasir El-Rufai will not run with him in the 2019 governorship election.
In a statement on Thursday in Kaduna, Bantex said he wants to offer better representation to the southern Kaduna senatorial zone.
He said since 1999, the southern senatorial zone has had the “poorest senatorial representation”.
According to him, the performance of governor Nasir El-Rufai has given him the confidence to run for the senatorial election.
“With utmost confidence in the fair mindedness, the results accomplished, and the work being done by the APC government of Kaduna State, under the inspiring leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, I have decided to offer myself as the APC candidate for the Kaduna South Senatorial District in the forthcoming 2019 election” he said .
Bantex said his personal and official relationship with El-Rufai had given him confidence in every part of the state.
“As Deputy-Governor, I have had several opportunities to witness this commitment to equity, and I regret that some of the elected representatives from my zone have not matched this broad-mindedness and constructive approach, in the interest of our people in Zone 3
“I have therefore come to the conclusion that it is worth leaving the office of Deputy Governor to put these issues on the ballot, encourage more mature and sober political discourse in the area, in order to deliver the desirable quality of representation for our people, and attract the maximum dividend of democracy” the deputy governor said.
According to him, the decision to run for the senate had been very difficult “in view of the uncommon goodwill and brotherly relationship that I currently enjoy with Malam Nasir El-Rufai who has elevated the relationship between Governor and Deputy Governor to a level of mutual respect, engagement and involvement that is unparalleled in our democracy…”