Babajide Awolowo, grandson of late statesman and grandfather of Osinbajo’s wife, Obafemi Awolowo and Jibola Ajayi, daughter of former governor of Oyo state Abiola Ajimobi, were among the 35 sacked aides of the Vice President by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Newsflash247 had earlier reported that President Buhari has approved the sack at least 35 out of over 80 aides in the office of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, a day after Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari takes bill to president Buhari in London for signing.
The president is currently in London, United Kingdom for a two-week “private visit” and is expected back in Abuja on November 17.
According to Daily Nigerian who gathered that the affected aides, who were issued appointment letters in August included some Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Personal Assistants and Technical Assistants.
Credible sources who preferred anonymity said the aides may be formally issued their sack letters on Wednesday.
Preparatory to their eventual dismissal, the reports learnt the aides were posted out to some line ministries relevant to their designation last month. The move was allegedly to deny them access to the Villa and reduce the influence of the vice president.
“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.
READ ALSO:Drama in Presidential Villa as Buhari’s aides engage in shouting match over sack of Osinbajo’s aides
“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.”
Both spokesmen for the president and vice president, Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande respectively, did not respond to a text message seeking their reaction to the development.
There seems to be a frosty relationship between the president and his deputy since the beginning of their second term in office, with the president transferring some agencies under the Mr Osinbajo’s control to either his office or some ministries.
Insiders said the president’s powerful handlers, otherwise known as cabal, were unhappy with some critical decisions taken by the vice president in the president’s absence.
Feelers believe that top among Mr Osinbajo’s “crimes” was the sack of Lawal Daura, erstwhile director-general of the State Security Service, SSS, when Mr Osinbajo was acting president in August last year.
Another decision that drew the ire of the cabal was transmitting a letter to the Senate in February 2017, seeking confirmation of then acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Samuel Onnoghen.
But the president first wielded the big stick by taking away the Special Intervention Programmes, SIPs, from the vice president’s office to the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.
The SIPs include the famous TraderMoni, the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power, among others.
On September 16, Mr Buhari replaced Osinbajo-led Economic Management Team with Economic Advisory Council that will directly report to his (president’s) office.
According a report by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, even the controversial RUGA project has also been taken from Mr Osinbajo’s control after the recommendation of the president’s powerful Chief of Staff Abba Kyari.
Taking a cue from Olusegun Obasanjo?
Shortly after President Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn-in for a second term in May 2003, his relationship with his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, became sour over latter’s alleged plan to contest against him at the party’s primaries.
At the peak of estrangement, the former president fired Mr Atiku’s key aides in order to allegedly settle the political scores.
The names of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s aides whose sack were reportedly approved by President Buhari on Tuesday November 5, have been released.
See the full list below;
- Jibola Ajayi – special adviser, legal
- Lanre Osinbona – senior special assistant, ICT
- Imeh Okon – senior special assistant, Infrastructure
- Jide Awolowo – special adviser, oil and gas
- Lilian Idiaghe- special adviser, research, legal and compliance
- Arukino Umukoro – special adviser, Niger Delta
- Bala Liman Mohammed – senior special assistant, Economy
- Edobor Iyamu – senior special assistant, Niger Delta
- Dolapo Bright – senior special assistant, agro allied value chain
- Toyosi Onaolapo special adviser, community engagement
- Gambo Manzo – special adviser, political
- Bisi Ogungbemi – special adviser, political matters
- Edirin Akemu – senior special assistant, industry, trade & investment
- Akin Soetan senior technical assistant, economic matters
- Aondaver Kuttuh – technical assistant, rule of law
- Ife Adebayo – special adviser, innovation
- Yussuf Ali – special adviser, power regulations
- Tola Asekun – senior special assistant, National Boundary Commission
- Morakinyo Beckley – special adviser, off grid power
- Yosola Akinbi – senior special assistant, NEC
- Tochi Nwachukwu – special adviser, power privatisation
- Bode Gbore – senior special assistant, political
- Abdulrahman Baffa Yola special adviser, political
- Kolade Sofola – special adviser, infrastructure
- Ebi Awosika – senior technical assistant, community engagement
- Muyiwa Abiodun – senior special assistant, power
- Forri Samson – Banu special adviser, entrepreneurship
- Bege Bala – special adviser, BPE
- Feyishayo Aina – senior special assistant, community engagement
- Halima Bawa – special adviser, community engagement
- Nkechi Chukwueke – special adviser, community engagement
- Ilsa Essien – special adviser, media