Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Tuesday night said that he never slapped his deputy, Barnabas Bala, whom he described as a friend of 40 years.
El-Rufai made the clarification in Kaduna while reacting to an alleged fight between him and his deputy.
The friendship of the governor and Bala dated back to their undergraduate days at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where the former graduated with a first-class degree in Quantity Survey while the latter bagged a first-class degree in Architecture.
El-Rufai said he had known his deputy since 1976 at the university and that there was no grouse between them.
The governor and his deputy were said to be at loggerheads over the plan by the governor to sack top civil servants in the state.
However, el-Rufai, in an interactive session with some journalists in Kaduna, simply laughed over the allegations, saying that the rumour mongers were not intelligent enough.
He said, “I have known Bala since 1976. I never had an argument with him; I respect his opinions and each time I travelled out of the country, I made him the 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 the 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 my mouth.”