Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says President Muhammadu Buhari is too powerful for anyone to control.
Shehu said this in reaction to comments that some individuals influenced the sacking of some aides of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
More than 30 persons working with Osinbajo were asked to go earlier in the week.
Explaining the reason for the action, Shehu said it was in line with Buhari’s directive for “an unprecedented overhaul that would 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.”
We bring you key details from the statement:
‘NO RIFT BETWEEN BUHARI AND OSINBAJO’
Some actions of the president in recent times had fuelled reports of a frosty relationship between he and his deputy.
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” is a good example of this.
Before then, he had 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.
But Shehu said there is no cause for alarm, adding: “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.”
OSINBAJO HAD MORE AIDES THAN BUHARI
Shehu said the vice-president had more aides than Buhari and the measure taken was to “save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public.”
The VP alone had 89 aides — three times more than the president.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
‘NO ONE IS TOO POWERFUL FOR BUHARI TO CONTROL’
When reports of the sack of the VP’s aides emerged, some Nigerians attributed it to some powerful forces within the presidency usually referred to as the “cabal.”
It was speculated that these individuals were unhappy with some actions of Osinbajo while acting as president when Buhari was on vacation.
But Shehu dismissed all of that and said Buhari is in full control of his government.
“The media should stop attributing non-existent powers to some people,2 he also said, adding: “There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control.”