The managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman, has denied being the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai’s girlfriend.
Speaking on a TVC programme on Monday, in celebration of the International Women’s Day, Hadiza, who was chief of staff to Mr El-Rufai from 2015 to 2016, stated that she never slept her way to the top, Premium Times reports.
She described claims about her relationship with Mr El-Rufai as an “over flogged story” that has been on for awhile.
“I am definitely not his girlfriend. The governor is my mentor and my boss.
“He has been very supportive of my career and the career of every other woman that has worked for him.
“As you are aware, Kaduna State is the first state in northern Nigeria that has an elected female deputy governor; so you can see he has that commitment having women in positions of authority so that rumour is completely untrue,” Ms Usman said.
Forty four-year-old Ms Usman, a politician and activist of the #Bringbackourgirls Movement, was appointed the ports authority MD in July 2016, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Her appointment generated controversy as many saw it as ethnically based and questioned her qualification and experience for the role.
The NPA boss, however, said such response was part of attempts to pull down women who are in high positions in society.
“These are the things they say to women to pull us down, they say for everything you have done in terms of showcasing your competence they always reference and attribute it to the fact that you are in a relationship with another person,” she said.