Presidency Reveals Why Political Appointees Were Downsized

The Presidency has given reasons why some of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s aides were asked to go by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, on Friday, he said the move was to “cut down multiple authorities” and “reduce the cost of administration”.

He noted that it was also a response to the “general perception” that the Presidency’s workforce is oversized.

“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overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.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.

“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,” Shehu said.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo.

The presidential spokesperson also dismissed rumours of a rift between the President and his deputy.

Shehu stated that the move to downsize Osinbajo’s staff was not aimed to undermine his office as some reports had suggested.

“In the light of this, 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.

“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,” he added.

ALEDEH had earlier reported that the vice president’s aides were not sacked, suggesting that they were let go because their appointment from the first term of the administration was not renewed for the second term.

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