Town Talk: El-Rufai, deputy Bantex exchange slaps?

Town Talk: El-Rufai, deputy Bantex exchange slaps?

Saturday, March 26, 2016 4:31 pm


El-Rufai, Tinubu and Bala Bantex

El-Rufai, Tinubu and Bala Bantex

By Femi Adi/Kaduna

Kaduna city is agog over reports that Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Deputy, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex exchanged slaps after a heated debate over  the policy directions of the 10 month old administration.

The exchange of slaps was said to have happened at the weekly state executive council meeting at Sir Ibrahim Kashim House. The story peddlers did not indicate when exactly this happened.

There has been no official confirmation of the quarrel, but the story has  gone  viral on Facebook, and other online  social media platforms.

El Rufai, left, Bantex and sports minister, Dalung watching the Nigeria-Egypt match on Saturday

El Rufai, left, Bantex and sports minister, Dalung watching the Nigeria-Egypt match on Saturday. 

The two most senior politicians in the state were said to be sorely divided over El-Rufai’s  planned sack of senior civil servants,  religious preaching bill  and the demolition of Gbagyi villa, a sprawling residential area, that his government had planned to demolish, but for a court order.

To be sure, some people found the story incredible, but cynics said there could be  ” No smoke without fire”.

Some others said the story was purely concocted to further tarnish the image of Governor  El-Rufai , whose popularity is dwindling over harsh ,  controversial and “anti people ” decisions taken in recent time.

Kaduna residents are meanwhile waiting for their tweeting governor to confirm or debunk the  story spreading like wild fire.

A   Government House source  however dismissed  the story  as untrue and a  figment of the  imagination of the originators.

The source  said it should  be disregarded.

What is giving some measure of credibility to the story was the alleged strained relationship between El-Rufai and Bantex.

The two politicians are said to be diametrically opposed over several issues.

And what caused the counter-slapping drama  started after  Bantex  at  a meeting of the SEC meeting objected to the proposed sack of top civil servants, 70% who come from Southern Kaduna.

An argument ensued to the extent that El-Rufai walked up to  Bantex and slapped him on the face.  Bantex, the report goes, took his vengeance outside the meeting hall and slapped back El-Rufai.

The deputy governor was said to have caught Governor Elrufai unawares,  as he landed his own  slap several times,  pinned him down  before landing another slap on the governor. Cabinet members rushed to separate the two men.

All  efforts to contact the Special Adviser on Media and Communication , Muyiwa Adekeye on phone on Saturday  failed as he refused to pick his call .

The call was put to to him at about 10 am and our correspondent waited to get his response , before filing the story but still didn’t get back , hence the story was filed at about 2.30pm.

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  • Godwin says:

    Nice piece , u have spoken well and i concur
    @ Henry

  • Henry says:

    You can imagine the kind of people that are leading us! They don’t understand the order of process. It is just like people cueing behind a mad man for direction. A governor has not right to slap any subject talk less of his elected deputy with same level of immunity. Bantex was left with two options;
    (1) To forgive or (2) Retaliate, simple. He cannot take the governor to court because of immunity and if he waited till after 4 or 8 years of office, time would have healed his wounded heart. (It is said that time is the healer of the wound of the heart).
    If he had forgiven, surely El Rufai would still repeat such unruly behavior next time.
    Moreover, it is not news amongst Nigerian political leadership. Members have used chairs on each other severally at National Assembly. A governor had slapped a lady Journalist before. The only difference is that this is between Governor and his deputy. Even Obassanjo had never dared slapping Atiku during their period of open hate relationship so what was El Rufai thinking?

  • Alhajivinco says:

    Fabu! Story! Has to be untrue.

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