Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has debunked speculations that he allegedly engaged his Deputy, Barnabas Bala Bantex, in a fisticuffs over alleged argument on state matters.
The cause of the alleged fisticuffs between El-Rufai and Bantex, according to reports was that, the Governor and the deputy have been having a cold war over alleged plans by the governor to sack top civil servants in the state.
However, speaking at an interactive session with journalists on Tuesday night, El-Rufai laughed over the rumour, and described the rumour mongers as, “Not quite intelligent enough”.
He said if the alleged fisticuffs took place in the executive meeting as portrayed by the rumour mongers, there would have been video evident of the fight by some executive members of the State councils, “because nobody is prevented from entering the meeting with his or her phone” .
He said if there is anybody he so much trusted and respected, it is Bantex who he said he had known closely for the past 40 years at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. El-Rufai explained that it was based on the trust he has for his deputy that whenever he travelled out of the country, he usually allowed him the rights of an acting governor.
This rights of acting governor, according to the governor was never observed by past governors, adding that as acting governor, Bantex signed documents and chaired security and executive council meetings.
“We chair executive council meeting together, we operate like partners, and now people want to create enemity between us. I am of age, I can’t descend so low. This rumour is completely false, it is created to cause division.
“We never discussed retrenchment of workers in the State as claimed by the rumour mongers. “I have never slapped anyone in my life, I have never argued with Bantex, I don’t slap people, I fight people with mouth,” el-Rufai stated.