The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has declared Monday, July 12, work-free day in honour of the late former deputy governor of the state, Barnabas Bala.
Bala, fondly called Bantex, died on Sunday in a hospital in Abuja. He was the deputy governor to El-Rufai between 2015 and 2019.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Public Communication to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, on Sunday reads partly, “The Kaduna State Government has formally announced the death of former deputy governor, Barnabas Bala (Bantex). The state government has declared Monday, 12th July, 2021, as a work-free day in honour of his memory and service to the state.
“Architect Barnabas Bala, who served as Deputy Governor of Kaduna State from May 2015 to May 2019, died today in Abuja.
“Malam Nasir 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.”
Earlier in a tribute he signed, El-Rufai said he has lost a brother and a friend in the service of state.
El-Rufai said, “From our days as undergraduates in the 1970s to our practice as professional colleagues in the construction industry and eventually partners in a governance project, Bantex was consistently a dependable man of brilliance and imagination.
“He believed in the potential of our state and in the capacity of our people to work together for progressive attainments.
“Together, we took on the task of providing new leadership for Kaduna State in 2015. He brought to his duties as deputy governor during our first term his unique insights as a politician with experience in navigating the diversity of our state. Bantex radiated hope and optimism in the future of our state, even when the circumstances were dreary.”
Similarly, the Arewa Consultative Forum on Sunday said it was sad about the death of Bantex.
Th ACF in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, said, “At the ACF, Bantex was considered an unusual gentleman who contributed in no modest way in stabilising the first tenure of El-Rufai government.
“The ACF condoles with Governor E-Rufai, the immediate family and the whole of Kaduna State on the loss of the great human asset known as Architect Barnabas Bala Yusuf, Bantex”