The Buhari Presidency has confirmed the sack of 35 aides of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and said it was all part of “an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government” and not a move to emasculate the Vice-President by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President’s spokesman Garba Shehu, confirmed that in the overhaul, a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.
Shehu said the workforce in the presidency is oversized and bloated and acts as a drag on efficiency, thus leading to the trimming of VP’s staff.
“The exercise, which has been ordered by the President, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.
“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
He did not however give an indication of the downsizing among the aides working for the President directly..
But Shehu explained why Osinbajo had to lose more staff.
“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.
“The streamlining was not personal or targeted to undermine the Vice President’s office, as the so-called insider sources quoted by the media appear to make it seem.
“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”.
According to reports, President Buhari had initially authorised the reappointment of the 35 aides and redeployment to the ministries.
Thus the Vice-President found the sack letters at variance with the President’s order.
Some reports said the VP has retrieved the letters and awaiting the President’s return on 17 November for confirmation.
But Shehu’s statement appears to be a silver bullet of sort, confirming that it was the president that countermanded himself.