Buhari, who is currently on “private visit” in the UK, approved the sack of the aides on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Daily Nigerian reports that those affected include senior special assistants, special assistants, personal assistants, technical assistants, and some whose appointments were approved in August.
The affected aides were said to have been posted out to some line ministries relevant to their designation in October, and that they are expected to be issued with disengagement letters on Wednesday (Today).
Sources who preferred anonymity said the move by Buhari was allegedly to deny the sacked aides access to the Villa and reduce the influence of Osinbajo.
“Although more than half of the aides are under the payroll of donor agencies, the cabal eased them out in order to whittle down the influence of the vice president,” said a source familiar with the development.
“None of them were queried or interdicted for any wrongdoing. It is not about cutting cost, because no aide was sacked in the president’s office nor office of the First Lady, where six more aides appointed less than one month ago. They were just sacked to reduce the VP’s influence.”
TheCable also confirmed the development from senior presidency sources.
“Osinbajo is hoping that President Buhari will rescind the decision,” a senior presidency said, maintaining that the sackings were done by a presidential aide, not the president himself.
There seems to be a frosty relationship between the president and his deputy since the beginning of their second term in office, with Buhari transferring some agencies under Osinbajo’s control to either his office or some ministries.
This development comes admit outrage among Nigerians over Buhari’s decision to assent to the bill to amend the deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contract act from London where he is on a “private visit”.
Buhari had previously 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.