Abuja — Senate President Bukola Saraki has sacked close to one hundred of his aides in a move to reduce his number of aides and personal staff who are over two hundred working with him in the last two years.
Saraki who noted that the action was driven by the need for efficient service delivery, said that it was not targeted in anyway against inherited staff as being rumoured by some insiders within the National Assembly .
The Senate President, it would be recalled had as earlier planned about four months ago, issued letters of disengagement from service to the affected staff within the last one week , many of whom were perceived to be inherited staff from his predecessor, the former Senate President, David Mark.
One of such staff is the Director of Protocol, Arthur Ndiwe who has spent a total of 10 years on the position, having served Mark for eight years before continuing with Saraki immediately after his inauguration, June 2015.
Another affected staff who worked with former Senate President Mark is the head of administration, Folashade Adigun.
Making the clarification yesterday in Abuja while addressing Journalists, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity , Yusuph Olaniyonu disclosed that the sack affected both inherited and personally appointed staff, just as declined to put a figure to those affected, adding that the exercise was entirely at the discretion of the Senate President based on the judgement of a review committee.
Olaniyonu who noted that the staff review was a culmination of an assessment exercise which started four months ago, however explained further that staff were categorised into three; those determined as good enough to continue, those who needed to be removed, and the fresh persons who need to be brought in.
He said, "It is entirely his (Saraki's) discretion to determine who works with him, those who are helping his agenda, and those areas where gaps need to be filled. This is important for the efficiency of the office.
"It is not a negative thing. It is to ensure that the office is more invigorated, and better positioned. It is possible some new people may also be joining, in areas lapses have been observed.
"It is good for a public official like the Senate President to have given everybody the opportunity to serve, the last 26 months are good enough to determine who would fits into his agenda for the next 22 months of the life span of this Senate."
He continued saying, "The restructuring that has just taken place on the workforce in the office of the Senate President being reported as mass sack in the media, was meant to reposition the office for service delivery the outcome of which has affected three categories of staff in different ways. The first category is those that have been found capable and competent to continue with their job like all the entire members of the media unit.
"The second category is those earlier seconded from the National Assembly bureaucracy to serve in the office of the Senate President but now directed to go back to their civil service job like the head of Administration, Mrs Folashade Adigun.
"The third category is those whose services within the last two years were not all that satisfactory in the eye of the committee set up by the Senate President to carry out the repositioning exercise of his office."
The affected aides 80% of which were largely believed to be inherited staff were issued sack letters through the office of the Chief of staff, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.