State Security Service (SSS) has withdrawn access tags from 35 aides of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who were affected by the controversial dismissal earlier this month.
SSS started withdrawing passes from the aides on November 21, and even went further to blacklist some of them from future access into the Presidential Villa, according to multiple sources speaking with our correspondent on the development.
When President Muhammadu Buhari returned from his private stay in London earlier this month, one of his first actions was to speak about the sack of the aides working with Mr Osinbajo.
Mr Buhari said it was part of re-organisation “aimed at enhancing service delivery to Nigerians”.
The president, while taking questions from reporters as he touched down in Abuja on November 16, also decried “ethnic and political dimension” given to the exercise.
The staff members were initially reported sacked on November 6. Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu confirmed it on November 8.
“The exercise, which has been ordered by the president, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration,” Mr Shehu said. “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.”
While Shehu claimed the action was aimed at cutting cost for the government, most of the affected aides were engaged and paid by development partners. They were only sent to the vice-president’s office as part of several social programmes supported through public-private partnerships.
Despite presidential confirmation that employment of some vice-president’s aides had been terminated, none of the affected officials received a formal communication to that effect.