The Presidency on Friday confirmed that 35 aides of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo were sacked but insisted that it was not in bid to undermine him (Osinbajo), rather it was aimed at cutting down multiple authorities and to reduce the cost of administration.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, Presidency also denied rift between Buhari and Osinbajo, as being propagated by some Nigerians, stressing that the relationship between the two leaders remains excellent and trusting.
Shehu also reiterated the powers and functions of the President, noting that no one is too powerful for President Muhammadu Buhari to control in Nigeria.
The statement reads thus:
BUHARI, OSINBAJO WILL, TOGETHER, SCRIPT A GLORIOUS FUTURE FOR NIGERIA
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overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.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.
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.
Senate Declares Bayelsa Governor, Deputy’s Seats Vacant
The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has declared vacant the Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West seats vacated by present Governor and Deputy Governor of the state, Sen. Douye Diri and Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, respectively.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Friday while addressing the first regular meeting of Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja.
“In the case of Bayelsa State, both the Governor and Deputy Governor were serving Senators. Consequently, the Commission yesterday Thursday 20th February 2020 received two communications from the Senate President declaring the seats for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa West Senatorial Districts vacant.
“The Commission will soon meet to determine the dates for bye-elections in the two Senatorial Districts,” the INEC boss stated.
Recall that Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were sworn in as governor and deputy respectively after the Supreme Court invalidated the election of David Lyon and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo over certificate forgery.
Nothing To Attract Fayose To ‘Confused’ APC — Ex-Gov’s Aide
Lere Olayinka, media aide to former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that there is nothing that can attract any right thinking politician to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) let alone his principal.
Olayinka said this in a statement on Friday in reaction to a statement by the APC in Ekiti State, that Fayose was not qualified to join the party.
Olayinka said “it is funny that the APC in Ekiti State lied and went further to react to its own lies.”
He added; “As I write, Fayose is presently in a meeting of major stakeholders of the PDP in Ekiti State in the house of Senator Clement Awoyelu.”
He admonished the ruling party to focus its attention on its non-performing government.
He described the report of Fayose’s threat to join APC should his adopted candidate for the State chairmanship of the PDP, Hon Bisi Kolawole, fails in the forthcoming State Congress as figment of the imagination of those peddling it.
“The story of Fayose’s threat to leave PDP for the APC is one of the lies from the APC factory of lies and it is even more childish that the party in Ekiti State went ahead to react to its own lies,” he said.
While saying there was nothing to attract any right thinking politician to the APC, Olayinka asked; “is it the killings and kidnappings going on across the country?
“Is it the pariah State that Nigeria has become such that USA had to place the country on visa restrictions? Is it the huge debt the country has been plunged into? Or is it the directionless state of the country?
“Is it the sacking of over 3,000 workers by the non-performing APC government in Ekiti State?
“Most importantly, is it the confused state of the APC, which has made even the State Chairman of the party in Ekiti State, Mr. Paul Omotoso, to join others in calling for the removal of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole?
“What is there in the APC to attract someone like Fayose, who is known for his stand in support of the masses of Nigeria that are being made to suffer more hardship by the APC government?
“They can continue to hallucinate about everything Ayodele Fayose, while he continues with his task of to rebuild the PDP in Ekiti State with a view to returning to power in 2022.”
UPP Merges With APC
The United Progressive Party (UPP), on Friday, said it had merged with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Consequently, it said that it would not take the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over its deregistration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UPP was recently deregistered by INEC alongside 73 other political parties.
Dr Chekwas Okorie, a former National Chairman of UPP, in a statement in Abuja, said that the decision was reached by all stakeholders in the party.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other stakeholders of UPP met on Feb. 20 at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.
“We reviewed the action of INEC in deregistering UPP along with 73 other political parties and we resolved not to challenge INEC in the court of law.
“ We, however, commend the parties that have headed for the court, knowing that it is within their constitutional right to approach the courts for judicial intervention,’’ Okorie said.
He hinted that the party reviewed a number of options available to it, including the hands of fellowship extended to our party by some of the political parties that survived the INEC deregistration.
Okorie said that on Aug. 17, 2018, the party’s NEC opted to support President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term, during which its members were directed to campaign for APC.
He said that the directive was carried out without any dissenting voice from the party nationwide.
“In view of our present circumstances, our party resolved unanimously that the most logical follow-up to our earlier chosen political trajectory would be to collapse all our structures from the ward to the national level into APC.
“We have, therefore, directed our members at all levels to proceed to register as members of APC at their various wards of origin or those where they are resident.
“Before arriving at this final decision, we consulted widely, not only among ourselves but with the leaders and stakeholders of APC where we have been assured of a warm welcome and equal opportunities for all bona fide members of the ruling party,’’ he said.
Okorie, who recalled that UPP was registered on Oct. 22, 2012 and existed for almost eight years, noted that the party exhibited the highest level of internal party democracy, discipline and cohesion within the period of its existence.
He also said that within the period, UPP never experienced any division at any level of the party’s administration and structure.
He, therefore, urged UPP members to exhibit this commendable character in the APC so that they would stand out as disciplined members of the APC and contribute their own quota to the growth of the party.