Barnabas Bala Bantex, deputy governor of Kaduna state, has declared his intention to contest southern Kaduna senatorial seat in 2019.
The senatorial district, represented by Danjuma Leah, is the only one the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in the state.
Bantex’s declaration has laid to rest reports that el-Rufai, who is seeking reelection, will not run with him in the next election.
Appealing to the people for support, Bantex said he wants to offer better representation to the southern Kaduna senatorial zone.
He said since 1999, the southern senatorial zone has had good representation.
“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.
“As deputy-governor, I have had several opportunities to witness this commitment to equity, and I regret that some of the elected representation from my zone has 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.”
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.”