Osinbajo and Buhari
By Wole Oye, Abuja
In a move to douse tension and possibly put the record straight, the Presidency has confirmed the sack of some aides of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo but explained the rationale behind it.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sack dozens of aides of the Vice President was borne out of the need to cut the cost of administration, Senior Presidential Media Aide, Garba Shehu has said.
In a statement on Friday, Shehu confirmed that Mr Osinbajo has more aides that the President, saying there cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control.
Prompt News Online had reported that Media Aide to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, had in a tweet on Thursday, tactically confirmed the sack of some aides but said the list of those affected being bandied around was not genuine.
But, Garba Shehu inna statement states: “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.
“The exercise, which has been ordered by the President, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.
“There has been a streamlining of staff going on for a while. The President has always had fewer staff than the Vice President, and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Villa.
“It is also an appropriate response to the general perception that the Presidency has an oversized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency.
“As may have been noticed by discerning members of the public, a number of political appointees among the few that served in the office of the President were not returned for the Second Term.
“The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.
“In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public. As far as the President is concerned, there is no scope for an excuse for administration after getting a huge mandate to run the country for four more years.”
Also, the Presidency said denied what it called “rumours of a rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The relationship between the two leaders remains excellent and trusting. Together, they will script a glorious future for the nation.
“The President is in absolute control of his government.”