Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said that he is hale and hearty, describing his purported collapse and near-death rumour as the handiwork of mischievous elements.
El-Rufai said his rumoured collapse was a mere hoax designed by mischief makers for purposes best known to them.
The governor stated this while receiving the members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Thursday.
El-Rufai told the workers that he is as fit as a fiddle and ever determined to make Kaduna great again. He also assured the workers that under him the state’s treasury was safe.
He promised the workers that their salaries would be paid before the Sallah festival, adding that the state will not wait for federal allocation from Abuja to pay salaries.
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.”
He added that he cannot be deterred by the antics of mischief makers who were uncomfortable with steps taken by his administration so far, especially those occupying the premises of government schools illegally.
Meanwhile, the workers in a rally held at the state capital in support of the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari presented a letter to el-Rufai to deliver to the President.
The workers marched from the NLC secretariat along Independence Way to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, to deliver a letter.
The workers bore placards with inscriptions such as, “We Support the man who is trusted and tested and we declare our support because we know you are up to the task,” “Workers rights are human rights,” “Buhari, you have our support against corruption,” and “El-Rufai go on and reclaim public schools.”
They called for the establishment of special courts and the appointment of anti-corruption judges to specifically tackle corruption cases in the country.
The Kaduna State NLC Chairman, Adamu Ango, who spoke at the event, said the President and the governor were trusted and tested hands.
Ango stressed the need for the government to reduce the cost of governance.
He also called on the National Assembly and the executive arm of government to work together towards taking Nigeria out of the wood.