Kaduna Deputy Governor Bantex Declares For Senate

Kaduna Deputy Governor Bantex Declares For Senate
Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Bala Bantex (file)

 

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Bala Bantex, has declared his intention to contest for the state’s Southern senatorial seat on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019.

Bantex made the declaration on Thursday while addressing a news conference at his office in the Government House in Kaduna, North-West Nigeria.

“I have decided to offer myself as the APC candidate for the Kaduna South Senatorial District in the forthcoming 2019 election, he said. “I will continue to serve as Deputy Governor of Kaduna State while pursuing this aspiration.”

Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s deputy explained that the decision to contest the senatorial election was to deliver quality representation to the people of the district and to attract maximum dividends of democracy which he claimed was lacking under the current representative.

He added that his decision was a difficult one owing to the uncommon goodwill and brotherly relationship he has been enjoying with the governor.

Bantex, however, said he took the step due to what his people have gone through in the area of insecurity in the last 10 years and the inability of their leaders to rise against it.

“I am convinced that it is time for our people to firmly reject the poorest senatorial representation Zone 3 has had since 1999. I regret that some of the elected representation from my zone have not matched this broad-mindedness and constructive approach, in the interest of our people in Zone 3,” he alleged.

“I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that it is worth leaving the Office of Deputy Governor to put these issues on the ballot, as well as encourage more mature and sober political discourse in the area.”

The deputy governor had served as a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Action Congress, as well as a two-time Chairman of Kaura Local Government Area of the state.

Kaduna APC Passes Vote of Confidence On Buhari, El-Rufai

APC National Chairman Assures Citizens Of Stable LeadershipThe enlarged caucus of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in Kaduna state, has passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai for their policy directions and style of governance.

These were parts of resolutions reached at the end of a meeting of the state caucus, held in the state capital.

The essence of the meeting was to appraise the performance of the APC led administration in delivering good governance to the people in the state, and discuss issues facing the party and how to move it forward.

The caucus dismissed insinuations that there was division among its members, but insisted that they are united and therefore won’t be distracted by those who hide under guise of criticism to pull down the APC government in the state.

In attendance at the meeting are all the major stakeholders of the party in the state including members of the state exco of the party, Governor El-Rufai and his deputy, Bala Bantex, Speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali, the Senator representing Kaduna North, Otman Hunkuyi, National Assembly Members as well as local government and ward executives among others.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, governor El-Rufai’s Special Adviser on Political Matters and Inter Governmental relations, Uba Sani, maintained that the era of paying or rewarding blackmailers is over in the state, saying the Kaduna APC has no division or faction.

Sani, stressed that the present government under governor El-Rufai, is transforming the state and not to share money to politicians who criticize or blackmail for settlements.

“Kaduna state APC caucus meeting was well attended by governor Nasir El-Rufai, Deputy governor, Bala Yusuf Bantex, Senator representing Kaduna North zone, Suleiman Hunkuyi, the entire State House of Assembly leadership and members.

“All members of the caucus are here. We discussed the progress of our party and all our discussions went well.

“In Kaduna state, we have only one APC, we discussed on how to reposition the party for service delivery to the people of Kaduna State”, Sani expressed.

The stakeholders, including Speaker of Kaduna state House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali, said that they would remain united and ensure that the APC emerges victorious in the forthcoming local government election slated for July 2017.

They also commended governor El-Rufai for his memo to President Buhari which they note was done in good faith and aimed at moving the nation forward.

“Our elders also gave us useful suggestions; we don’t have any faction or division in Kaduna State APC.

“Our party leadership at ward level to state is intact, so we don’t have faction. You know this government does not settle or pay people for settlements. We are not going to settle anybody who disagrees or criticize the government.

“The governor has told us clearly and he was elected to develop Kaduna State and not to share money. In Kaduna State, even a blind man knows that there is transformation going on in the state”.

With four months to the local government election in the state, stakeholders at this meeting said they would not be distracted by any group whose interest would be to cause crisis in the party.

Kaduna Govt. Meets With Community Heads Over Crisis

Kaduna Govt. Meets With Community Heads Over CrisisThe Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex, has met with community leaders from different parts of Nigeria that are resident in the state.

The meeting, which included security agencies, was organised following the recent clash between Hausas and Yorubas in Ile Ife, Osun State, as well as the lingering violence in Southern Kaduna.

It was also convened to forestall any form of reprisal attacks in Kaduna State, and seek the support of the leaders in finding  solutions to the Southern Kaduna crisis which has claimed so many lives.

Resident community leaders comprising of Igbo, Yoruba, Igala and others from various part of the country gathered at the Government House, on the invitation of the Kaduna State Government.

Speaking, Mr Bantex warned those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state as a result of recent events elsewhere to desist from circulating videos, images and making inciting comments.

He appealed to the community leaders to prevail on their subjects to uphold peace in the state, remain calm and firmly reject any attempt to drag them into any form of violent behaviour.

Enemies Of Peace

“Those trying to incite unnecessary tensions in the state because of what is happening in Ile Ife, Osun State should desist from circulating videos and images with inciting commentary and calls to citizens for reprisals.

“Already, the unfortunate incidents in that part of the country have been contained and taken care of, so the government will not watch enemies of peace capitalising on the situation to cause problems in Kaduna State, using images and videos to incite reprisals.

“People circulating images and calling for reprisals are enemies of peaceful society, and all citizens must say no to them.

“The Kaduna State Government is determined to ensure that anyone or group of persons distributing images and videos calling for revenge are arrested and prosecuted.

“Citizens must support the government to ensure that every threat to law and order in the state is defeated,” he said.

Speaking on the crisis in Southern Kaduna, the Acting Governor noted that the violence was purely an act of criminality and banditry, contrary to the Christian against Muslim crisis as widely believed.

bala-bantex2
Some traditional rulers at the meeting

According to him, the most peaceful local government area in Kaduna State is Jaba Local Government Area, which is one of the eight local governments that make up the ‘Zone Three’ called Southern Kaduna.

The leader of the Community Leaders Forum and President-General of Yoruba Traditional Rulers Council in the 19 Northern States, Abdulganiyu Oguntoyinbo, in his response said those responsible for the Ile Ife crisis did not represent the Yorubas as a people.

He urged the Yoruba community in Kaduna and Northern Nigeria to remain calm, peaceful and shun reprisal attacks.

“We are tired of blood spilling and we therefore appeal to our political, religious and traditional leaders irrespective of their differences to come together and find a lasting solution to the recurring crises,” Oguntoyinbo said.

While commending the Kaduna State Government for convening the meeting to acquaint them on the measures taken to protect lives and properties of citizens, especially the non-indigenes, he lauded the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s administration for the ongoing infrastructural development in the state.

Although the community leaders commended the recent steps taken by government and security agencies to end the attacks in Southern Kaduna, they expressed concern over the negative consequence of the crisis on the socio-economic development of the state.

Reports say so far, many lives and properties were reportedly lost in about 10 sectarian crises in Kaduna State in the past 30 years.

 

Kaduna Govt. Commences Issuance Of Digitalised C Of O

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna, Peaceful Coexistence, NigeriansThe Kaduna state government has commenced issuance of digital Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O) to land owners who registered with the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS).

This, according the government, is part of efforts to remove bottlenecks associated with procurement of land in Kaduna.

Deputy Governor of the state, Bala Bantex, presented the first set of computerized document to beneficiaries, at the flag off exercise in the state capital.

He then re-iterated that the exercise is to ensure transparency in land transaction.

Kaduna Dep. Gov Commends War Against Terrorism

barnabas-bala-bantexThe Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Bala Bantex, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military for the successful capture of the last stronghold of Boko Haram terrorists in Sambisa forest in Borno state.

In a Christmas message he sent to the President and Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr Bantex commends the President for his determination and encouragement to the Armed Forces by providing them with the necessary logistics to execute the anti-terrorism war in the northeast within the short  period he came into office.

He said that the final onslaught against the Boko Haram insurgents at ‘camp zero’, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest, was the best Christmas gift for the people of northeast and Nigerians in general.

He added that the social life that has returned to Borno state and other parts of the region is a manifestation of triumph of light over darkness.

Bantex, while commending the military for the success, also expressed optimism that with President’s Buhari’s promise to locate two military formations in the southern part of Kaduna state, the incessant clashes between suspected herdsmen and the natives would soon be a thing of the past.

He gave the assurance that the APC government in Kaduna state under the leadership of Nasir El-Rufai would continue with its “Make Kaduna Great Agenda”, which is anchored on provision of basic infrastructure, improved welfare of civil servants and ensuring of security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.

He called on all Nigerians irrespective of their tribal or religious differences to embrace the peace, love and tolerance in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came to the world to redeem mankind.

Kaduna Govt., NOUN Sign MoU To Train Prison Inmates

Prison Inmates, Kaduna, Health Care, MOUThe Kaduna state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to train prison inmates in skills and vocational education.

Following the MoU, prison inmates across the state will now be trained on some vocational skills that would make them self-reliant after serving their jail terms.

At the ceremony, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Bala Bantex, signed on behalf of the state government while the Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Abdalla Adamu, signed for the institution.

Under the partnership, the state government will provide the startup packs for the training, while the university will provide the manpower and facilities.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the event, the Kaduna State Deputy Governor said that the programme is aimed at rehabilitating and empowering prison inmates who are serving their jail terms with the necessary skills that will enable them to become useful to the society upon completion of their jail terms.

The Deputy Governor also hinted that the state government is also partnering with the state prison command to ensure that prisons across the state are decongested and given a face lift in line with global best practices.

The Vice Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Abdalla Adamu, while commending the Kaduna state government for initiating the training programme, called on other states across the country to take a cue from Kaduna.

He disclosed that the training would be free of charge and added that the university is also offering free university education for prison inmates across the country.

On his part, the Kaduna State Controller of Prisons, Yazid Alhassan, commended the state government for the gesture, which he said would help in reducing the level of crime in the society.

Kaduna is the first state in the Nigeria to initiate such programme aimed at reducing crime in the country.

At least 700 inmates across the state are expected to benefit from the training programme.

No Need To Panic Over Tremors – Geologist

earth tremor, cracked walls, kaduna tremorThe federal government must as a matter of urgency commit enough funds to creating seismic stations across the country for the effective monitoring of natural occurrences to provide avenues for proactive approaches to managing natural disasters.

The President, Nigerian Mining and Geo-Sciences Society, Prof. Gbenga Okunlola, gave this hint in an interview with Channels Television at the Department of Geology, University of Ibadan.

Prof. Okunlola said that presently there is no need for Nigerians to panic as the country is in a safe zone and not prone to earth quakes.

He added that the tremors that have been reported in Saki, Oyo State and Kwoi in Kaduna state are local tremors of about 2.3 on the Richter scale and could have resulted from mining activities in those areas or change in weather.

He explained further that the tremors are caused by vibrations within micro fractions possibly from mining activities which gets heated up and expanded in high temperature but trembles when persistent rainfall percolates such openings.

Prof. Okunlola added that Nigeria has enough geologists and related scientists that government could leverage on to protect the environment decisively at all times.

Similarly, the National Space Research and Development Agency had in September, attributed the recent tremor in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State to passive sources.

There were three reports of earth tremor at Kwoi community in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

After the first incident in Kwoi community, the Kaduna state government had appealed to the people of the community to be calm but the occurrence of the second earth tremor occurred at Sambang Dagi community barely 24 hours after both in Jaba left residents terrified.

The second vibration occurred very early in the morning, leaving residents scampering for safety while the third worsened fears around the communities.

Authorities have, however, consistently appealed to the residents to remain calm.

The Kaduna state government directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to mobilise its officials to the area to monitor the situation and assist the people in case of any emergency.

The Nigerian Senate also swiftly promised that it would investigate the earth tremor.

Earth Tremor: El-Rufai Visits Kwoi, Assures Residents of Safety

Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Potato FactoryKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has visited Kwoi community in Jaba Local Government Area of the state, to commiserate with the residents following the earth tremor that occurred in the community last week.

The paramount ruler of the community, briefed the governor, who arrived the community in company of his deputy, Bala Bantex and other top government officials, on how the incident occurred.

This is the third after two other mini earth quakes had also occurred in the previous weeks.

El-Rufai condoled with the victims after meeting with residents at the palace of their traditional ruler.

Although he described the earth tremor as shocking and the first of its kind in the area, he expressed gratitude to God that no life was lost from the incident.

The Governor stated that the incident was exaggerated in the media and said that the government was waiting for the outcome of investigation by various experts who have visited the community, in order to the know the next action to take.

The paramount ruler, while hosting the Governor, said that “the earth tremor took the residents by surprise, and has since created tension in the community”.

He commended the state and federal government for the concerns they have shown since the incident occurred.

Meanwhile, most of the residents, especially non-indigenes that fled the community in the wake of the earth tremor, are yet to return while others still in the community, express fears about their safety.

Kaduna Flood Kills Four, Destroys Houses

floodA flood killed four people and destroyed several houses in Zaria, Kaduna State on Monday.

The flood was triggered by heavy down pour which occurred on Monday.

It was caused by a collapsed bridge that blocked the water channels.

It ravaged Magume community of Kaduna State destroying a bridge, several houses and farmlands.

The flood claimed the lives of four people; a woman and three children.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex accompanied by top government officials consoled the victims of the disaster and assessed the level of damage.

The Deputy Governor assured that the collapsed bridge would be repaired immediately.

He mandated the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide immediate relief materials to the victims.

Although, SEMA  put the number of deaths at four, residents claim seven people died.

They stated that the incident was caused by the lack of proper drainage which they said led to the collapse of the bridge.

They appealed to the State government to come to their aid by fixing the collapsed bridge.

They also lamented loss of household property.

The government delegation also visited the Emir of Zazzau after inspecting the flood affected areas.

With the rains still pouring, the prayers of the residents is that a quick repair of the collapsed bridge and drainage will avert a recurrence of the disaster.

FG To Partner States On Solid Minerals Development

Solid MineralsThe Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, says the Federal Government will collaborate with states to strengthen mining activities in the country.

Fayemi, who disclosed this during the National Consultative Meeting on Validation of Roadmap for the Solid Minerals Sector in Kaduna State, explained that this would form a holistic platform for diversifying the nation’s economy.

The Minister with his colleagues in the ministry, commissioners of solid minerals and environment from across the states of the federation and other stakeholders gathered to discuss the road map.

With the dwindling revenue due to fall in global oil price, the Federal Government wants to get the states involved in the exploration of mineral deposits within their domains as part of efforts to diversify the economy.

He listed steps to be taken in order to achieve the objectives to include identifying, streamlining and legalising activities of the large numbers of artisanal miners.

The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex, who stood in for Governor Nasir El-Rufai, commended the Federal Government’s effort of diversifying the nation’s sources of revenue.

He promised that the state will complement all efforts to revitalise the country’s economy.

Other stakeholders at the meeting stressed that solid minerals can drive industrialisation and economic growth in the country if only the Federal Government would allow increased participation by states and private sector in exploration, collection of royalties among others.

According to the 2012 audit report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria has about 40 different solid minerals spread across the country, yet on the average, the sector contributes only about 0.34 percent to the country’s GDP.

Stakeholders say the limitation of states in the mining activities is largely responsible for the inactiveness of the sector.

Kaduna State Inaugurates Government Agencies’ Boards

KadunaKaduna State government has inaugurated Boards of Government Agencies and Parastatals, with a mandate to improve the state’s revenue profile and plug all leakages.

Inaugurating the boards on Monday at the Government House in the State capital, Governor Nasir El-Rufai tasked the revenue generating agencies in the state on the need to strive to attain a monthly Internally Generated Revenue target of four billion Naira in order to put the state on a sound financial footing.

According to the Governor, with the wage bill of the state’s work force consuming about 90 per cent of the Federal Allocation every month, there is need for the government to look inwards for other sources of generating revenue to enable it perform its statutory responsibilities to the people of the state.

Some of the inaugurated boards were the Kaduna State Facilities Management Agency, Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service, Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, and Kaduna State Bureau of Pensions.

Governor El-Rufai said the five parastatals were key to the economic development of the state especially in the face of the dwindling oil price in the global market.

He explained that the appointment of people into boards and agencies would ensure effective implementation of policies and programmes of the All Progressives Congress-led government in the state which the party promised the citizens during electioneering campaigns.

Responding on behalf of the appointed board members, the State Deputy Governor, Bala Bantex, and Secretary of the Internal Revenue Service, Francis Kozah, thanked the Governor for giving them the opportunity to serve the state in their respective parastatals and agencies.

They further pledged that they would carry out their functions diligently.

Presently, Kaduna State generates close to one billion Naira monthly.

As the board members go back to their respective establishments to resume work, it is hoped that all hands must be on deck to turn around the financial fortunes of the state.

CAN Meets Kaduna Govt. Over Preaching Regulatory Bill

Preaching Regulatory BillThe leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State on Wednesday met with the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over the proposed Religious Preaching Regulatory Bill that is presently before the State House of Assembly for passage.

The clergymen, led by their Chairman, Bishop George Dodo, met with the Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Bala Bantex, on Wednesday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor explained that the Religious Preaching Bill was only aimed to curb religious extremism and hate speeches that could trigger religious violence in the state.

He informed the Christian delegation that government has a duty to ensure that religious violence no longer threatens the relative peace being enjoyed by citizens of the state.

Mr Bantex added that the Kaduna State Government is committed to ensure that religious activities are practiced in a safe and secure climate.

He said that was the first time that the law is passing through a democratic process, stressing that the proposed amendment was a deliberate decision by the government to subject the law to public scrutiny, rather than to just enforce the provisions of the edict as passed since 1984.

The Deputy Governor also explained that there was nothing in the Bill that suggests any effort to abolish, stop or derogate the freedom of religion in the state.

Rather, he clarified that the Bill merely seeks to ensure that religious preaching and activities in Kaduna State were conducted in ways that do not threaten public order, public safety, and to protect the rights and freedom of other persons.

In his remark, Bishop Dodo commended Governor El-Rufai for conveying the meeting, saying that CAN would submit its position to the House of Assembly and the State Executive Council during the public hearing on the Bill.

A member of the delegation and Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Femi Ehimidu, raised an alarm that some people who parade themselves as government officials were already seeing out religious practice licence forms to some clergymen at the cost of N4,000.

He also identified some grey areas in the Bill, which he said infringed on the right of the people such as obtaining licence from government before preaching.

The meeting followed speculations from some sections of the public that the bill, if passed into law, would gauge the freedom of worship and association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.