Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has denied reports that he recently collapsed and was flown abroad for medical treatment.
The collapse was said to have occurred due to accumulated stress since the governor was sworn in three months ago. There were even suggestions that he had suffered a spiritual attack.
However, the governor yesterday, Thursday, September 10, rubbished the rumour, saying he is perfectly healthy and strong.
The Punch reports that El-Rufai received members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House yesterday. He addressed them, saying the news about his near-death collapse was put together by some mischievous people for reasons known to them alone. He said he is as fit as a fiddle and ever-determined to govern Kaduna in order to produce results. He also assured the workers that under him the state’s treasury was safe.
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The governor said: “You can say El-Rufai has collapsed and died, but here I am. I am alive. My deputy is here; he’s is alive and can continue the good work we are here to do for the good people of Kaduna State. Only last weekend, my deputy announced that some money (N24bn) has been recovered from various accounts in the state because of the single account we now operate. Some people became jittery. Now they are peddling rumour that I collapsed and was taken out of the country.
“Let me say it here that here I am and your money – Kaduna’s money, is alive and intact. Kaduna State now has money to pay its workers and all civil servants will get their pay before Sallah. We will not wait for federal allocation before we pay workers.”
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He also said he is not afraid of those who are concocting stories in order for him to be uncomfortable with steps taken by his administration so far, especially those occupying the premises of government schools illegally.
Meanwhile, Governor El Rufai recently cancelled all forms of admission charges placed by state owned tertiary institutions for the processing of admission of prospective students. According to Samuel Aruwan, the special assistant for media and publicity who disclosed this in a statement, the governor cancelled the charges during the state executive meeting.
Just recently, the Kaduna state deputy governor, Bala Barnabas Bantex, revealed that N24 billion was recovered by the state government in 423 bank accounts in the state as a result of the government’s decision to begin remitting its earnings into a Treasury Single Account (TSA).