President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the dismissal of some of his aides who were attached to the Office of the Vice-President, The PUNCH can confirm.
Daily Nigerian had reported on Wednesday that about 35 of the aides were sacked. However, The PUNCH could not independently confirm the exact number as of the time of filing the report.
Osinbajo, it was learnt, had more aides than President Buhari. Some of them were appointed while Osinbajo was acting as President when Buhari was out of the country for over 130 non-consecutive days in London in 2017.
A top source at the Presidency said, “It is true that many of VP’s aides were given termination letters last night. However, I cannot confirm the exact number because it was not done in public. But you know it is political.
“Some of those dismissed are those who have been made redundant since the VP’s duties have been reduced and some of the social investment programmes have been put under other ministries.”
The VP, who was saddled with the responsibility of running the economy as well as the social investment programmes in the first term of the President, is believed to have twice the number of aides that work directly with the President.
Aides to the Vice-President as of 2017 according to Premium Times was about 52 while that of the President was 25.
However, other appointments were said to have been made for Osinbajo which were never made public.
Some others, it was learnt, were being paid by donor agencies and not directly from the Federal Government’s purse.
The President appointed additional aides for Osinbajo in August 2019. They include Ahmad Zakari as Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Obafela Bank-Olemoh, as Senior Special Assistant on Education Interventions, Louis Odion as Senior Technical Assistant on Print Media, and Ajuri Ngelale as Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs in the Presidency.
There have been reports about the attempts by the ‘cabal’ within the Presidency to water down the power and duties of Osinbajo since the second term kicked off.
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, had said on Tuesday that the Vice-President had been made redundant as he was no longer a relevant member of Buhari’s government.
The President has also failed to transmit power to Osinbajo anytime he travels for long periods as he had done in previous years.