Southern Kaduna Practicing Journalists’ Forumn have issued a statement demanding that Deputy Governor Banex apologize for a statement they deem libelous.
The Southern Kaduna Practicing Journalists’ Forum (SKPJF) has called on the State Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bala Bantex to publicly apologize to the forum over what they described as slanderous statement he made in a written speech he delivered at Ham Day on Saturday 26 March, 2016.
Bantex, during a programme held in Kwai, Jaba LGA of Kaduna State, said “I am aware of the spread ridiculous rumors seeking to paint me as the victim of a fictitious fight. This sort of lies is being spread by certain journalists of Southern Kaduna origin for what reason? It seems they cannot believe the strength and vitality of the relationship that Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and I have built in the service of Kaduna State and together we shall deliver the promise of restoration programme and our party’s manifesto for the benefit of all people.”
Kaduna people were abashed by rumoured fight between Kaduna State Governor Elrufai and his deputy, Bantex.
But Bantex who stood to deliver his speech during the occasion that had respectable leaders of Southern Kaduna and scores of thousands within and outside the zone in attendance, accused journalists who are his kinsmen of fabricating the story.
The group, in a statement issued on Sunday 29 March 2016 signed by LukaBinniyat and Amos Tauna, Chairman and Secretary of Southern Kaduna Practicing Journalists’ Forum respectively, denied writing such a story and threaten to go to court.
The group accused Bantex of inventing the story and made feasible its spread on social media to show that he dislikes the policies of his boss.
“It is said that Bantex is indeed happy with the story which makes him stand out as a democrat against a mindless demolisher, maker of antireligious bills, a vindictive leader and hater of civil servants among others. Those who think so, according to our findings, point to the fact that Bantex always emerge the hero in all the versions of the said ‘blow/slap exchange of blows’ story,” the statement said.
“We wish to notify the general public, especially our kinsmen from Southern Kaduna, that there is a grand ploy by the government of Kaduna state, specifically by the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Barnabas Bala Bantex, to destroy our credibility, soiled our relationship with our people and the larger world and thus make us susceptible for possible victimization.”
“This is borne from his slanderous attack on our persons in his written speech read at the yearly Ham Day Festival which took place in Kwoi, Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Saturday, 26th March, 2016.”
“We feel seriously offended by this fabricated allegation and irresponsible accusation on undefined members of our Forum. We feel that this is a desperate blame game to cover up the obvious toxic image of a government that has so far proven to be a monumental disappointment, from the judgment of majority of Kaduna state electorates,” the statement stated.
“We want Bantex to provide evidence and prove that it was ‘certain journalists of Southern Kaduna origin’ that started the ‘ridiculous rumour’ that he fought his boss, His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Failure to provide this evidence, we expect him to tender an unreserved apology to Southern Kaduna Journalists at a gathering made up of nearly or the same strength that attended the Ham Day Festival, and in all the mass media that have published or broadcast his allegation. Failure to heed to our demand will force us to use every available legitimate means, including going to court to seek for redress,” the journalists said.