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THE REAL TRUTH: Did Kaduna Governor El Rufai slap his Deputy?

PUNCH reports, Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai said on Tuesday night that he has never quarrelled with, nor slapped his Deputy, Barnabas Bala.

The governor said Bala has been his friend since they both attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna State several years ago.

While the governor had First class honours, studying Quantity Survey, his Deputy, graduated with First Class honours in Architecture from the same Ahmadu Bello Unversity, Zaria.

Reacting to the rumoured fight between him and his deputy, El-Rufai said he had known his deputy since 1976 at ABU and that nothing has ever led them to fight.

The root of alleged fisticuffs between El-rufai and Bala 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.

But El-Rufai, in an interactive session with select journalists simply laughed over the allegation, saying that the rumour mongers were not intelligent enough.

The governor explained that if the alleged fisticuffs took place in the executive meeting as portrayed by the rumour mongers, there would have been video or photo evidence of the fight by some executive members of the State councils, “because nobody is prevented from entering the meeting with his or her phone”.

El-Rufai said, “I have known Bala Bantex since 1976, I never had an argument with him, I respect his opinions, and each time I travelled out of the country, I make him an Acting governor, he signs documents on my behalf.

“We chair executive council meetings together, we operate like partners, and now people want to create enmity 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 Bala, I don’t slap people, I fight people with mouth,” El-Rufai said.