Nigerian Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu has said no one is too powerful for the President to control and this statement is in reaction to comments that some individuals influenced the sacking of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s aides.
The confirmation about the sacked aides of the Vice President comes shortly after Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, denounce the stories that aides to the Vice President had been kicked out .
More than 30 persons working with Osinbajo were asked to go earlier in the week – prominent on the list of the affected aides is Ajibola Ajayi, the daughter of former governor of Oyo state, Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi. She was appointed Special Assistant, Legal to the President (VP’s office) in August 2019. She was a former SA to the President on Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE (VP’s office) from October 2015 to May 2019.
Also on the list are Lanre Osinbona, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on ICT; Imeh Okon, SSA on Infrastructure; Jide Awolowo, SA, Oil & Gas; Gambo Manzo, SA Political and Edobor Iyamu, SSA, Niger Delta.
Explaining the reason for the action, Shehu said it was in line with Buhari’s directive for “an unprecedented overhaul that would streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.
“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.”
He maintained that the “the President is in absolute control of his government. The media should stop attributing non-existent powers to some people. There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control”.
“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overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.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.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,” he said.
He also advised Nigerians to discard any rumour of rift in the presidency, adding that Buhari and Osinbajo are working together.
Rumours about the rift between the President and his Vice started when he asked Osinbajo to seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision and also moved the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) from the vice-president’s office to a new ministry.
This week, the Chief of staff to the President, Abba Kyari travelled to London for President Buhari’s assent to the bill to amend the deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contract act – his refusal to hand over power to the Vice President also means all bills and administrative activities will he is in London on a “private visit” will only be attended to by him.