The Presidency on Friday said the sacking of 35 aides working with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo was part of an ongoing exercise, which had received President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval and aimed at streamlining decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.
Recall that the Presidency had earlier on Friday asked Nigeria to ignore the list of sacked aides which was made public on Thursday.
But a few hours later, the Presidency confirmed that the aides have indeed been sacked in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The statement said: “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, ongoing, 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overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.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.
“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.”
The Presidency also refuted reports of a rift between President Buhari and Osinbajo.
The statement added: “The Presidency wishes to strongly deny 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 media reports of a soured relationship are originating from the minds and mouths of mischief makers, who are desperate for entertaining stories from the Aso Rock Villa with which to titillate the public. This ulterior motive is the basis of the wrong interpretation given to the recent exercise in the Presidency.
“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.