Mixed Reactions In Aso-Rock As Buhari Sacks Osinbajo’s Aides

Buhari through his Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari approved the sacking of at least 35 out of over 80 aides in the vice president’s office.

The president had previously asked Osinbajo to seek presidential approvals for agencies under his supervision and had moved the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) from the vice president’s office to a new ministry.

Besides, the Economic Management Team chaired by the vice president has since been replaced with the Economic Advisory Council under the direct purview of the president.

MackenzieSkyBlog  gathered that the affected staffs already had foreknowledge of the development but were asked to tarry a while until Kyari returns from his visit to see the president in London. This is because Osinbajo had hoped that Buhari would reverse the decision.

1. The president general of Igbo think-tank, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, condemned the sacking of the aides. 

He noted: “The combination of the military man and the erudite professor (Osinbajo) was seen by many as a good one. But it appears that the military man has grown tired of the well-grounded reasoning of the professor. The development is certainly not good.”

2. The executive director of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Ibuchukwu Ezike, said: “You don’t sack them without a cause. It is abuse of due process and negates the rule of law. Buhari should rescind this decision and stop acts that portray him as intimidating the vice president. That was how the judiciary was intimidated and is now dancing to his whims and caprices.”

3. The deputy national president of Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Chucks Ibegbu, said: “They should sort themselves out.” According to him, the group is more concerned about the country’s urgent need for restructuring, justice, equity and fairness and the parlous state of infrastructure in the southeast."

4. Similarly, a presidency source said: “The vice president must have been the one that orchestrated the action, to rid himself of some of those aides found wanting on graft-related issues and other activities inimical to the policies of the administration.”

The source recalled that Osinbajo was in the past accused of employing predominantly members of his faith when he acted as president. “Many Nigerians, especially from the North, criticised him of religious bias in appointments before Buhari returned from his medical trip.”

5. The national president of Yoruba Ronu, Mr. Akin Malaolu, also dismissed the outcry against the sacking. He said,  "Since most of the agencies under the office of the vice president have been moved to different ministries, thus there was no need to keep redundant staff. I think Osinbajo himself might have applied for their sacking.”

Another source close to the Lagos All Progressives Congress chapter also said some of the sacked aides were no longer relevant in the villa since agencies under Osinbajo’s office have been relocated.

6. Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, said: “I’m not surprised. There is something abnormal, unusual and completely counter-intuitive in the way Osinbajo put his office.”

Accusing the vice president of favouritism in appointments, he said: This man (Osinbajo) has absolutely no focus other than his own people. And I have reasons to say so. Almost everybody (aide) there is from his church. In a country with this complexity, you don’t run things like that.

“People who have been recruited and deployed to Osinbajo’s office are, by law and convention, appointees of the president himself. And for whatever reason, the president has allowed Osinbajo to get away with this. Even if Buhari is unable to do something about it, it will cause a very serious problem for Osinbajo who is nurturing the idea of vying for president in 2023. There is a strong feeling that the person who will emerge as running mate to Osinbajo could be Pastor Adeboye.”

But the national secretary of the Coalition of United Political Parties, (CUPP) Salisu Dawaki, said the sacking of the aides is part of a plot by a powerful APC chieftain in the southwest to become president in 2023.

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