Bantex:Tragedy of political leadership

Simon Reef 

By his emergence as deputy governor of Kaduna State on May 29, 2015, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex became the political leader of Southern Kaduna. For some of us who have admired his political voyage in the past, especially when he served as chairman of Kaura LG, our confidence in him was unshakeable as we told many that a new dawn was about to commence. Nearly two-and-half years after he became the political leader of SK, his public utterance, fraught with gaffes, have turned him into an enemy of his own people and an irredeemable political liability to Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai.

Instead of building bridges of understanding between the state government and his own people, he seems to be operating from a siege mentality of seeing his own area as constituting impediments to efforts deployed by the state in attaining development. Apart from appearing on Tv stations to lampoon SK political elite for being behind crises in the southern axis, Bantex was his usual self on November 3, 2017 when he came hard on his people where he accused them of promoting the “We versus them” syndrome. He pointedly carpeted SOKAPU, a group whose logo he designed and was its pioneer National Secreteary, adding the union has outlived its usefulness. To him, if his people must be heard, they should come through their elected representatives and not SOKAPU.
Not a few are dumbfounded over the utterances of Bantex. Most of his admirers, including yours sincerely, are at a a loss why the architect’s fiery zeal for his people has suddenly gone cold. In the last 16 years of the PDP in Kaduna, the former House of Reps member played behind-the-scene roles in demanding equity for his people. What has happened to our political leader since he became deputy to Malam El-Rufai is still a matter of painful conjectures. That the man who is supposed to speak for his people has embarked on adversarial expedition against his own is quite unfortunate.
In this trying time we find ourselves, we must avoid resorting to anger and bitterness over the disturbing gaffes of our leader. There seems to be be a force far beyond human comprehension in rationalizing the disposition of the deputy governor towards his people. I expected Bantex to serve as a rallying symbol for an area most tormented and fraught with developmental challenges . I reject in totality the opinion that SK is peopled by trouble makers. If the accusation by Bantex that the elite are responsible for the crises in SK, I am yet to see genuine efforts by him to change the narrative. I believe that there’s enough time for him to beat a hasty retrieve and salvage his leadership status.

Finally, no one gains honour by pouring invectives on his own people . Bantex should note that he ultimately carries the failures of his people upon his shoulders. Badly behaved children are products of bad parentage. As at today, he is the political leader of his people and cannot excuse himself from their challenges. THAT SK HAS BECOME A POLITICAL WASTELAND IS LARGELY DUE TO THE UNINSPIRING LEADERSHIP OF BANTEX.
May God Almighty grant our political leader the wisdom to act quickly before the dusk set in. May the peace we currently enjoy be consolidated in the years ahead.

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