Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chaired the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari who is in London on a ‘private visit’. The duty, however, did little to douse speculations that relations between him and his principal have hit an all-time low.
As the council sat at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigerians heard the latest in a series of stories suggesting a methodical whittling down of the vice president’s influence. According to online reports, Buhari approved the sacking of at least 35 out of over 80 aides in the vice president’s office. The aides, said to have been issued appointment letters in August, included senior special assistants, special assistants, personal assistants and technical assistants.
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.
But details have emerged showing that Buhari’s Chief of Staff (CoS) Abba Kyari was behind the sacking of the aides. A presidency source told The Guardian yesterday that the affected staff 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.
Source: Guardian News