-Saraki confirms and justifies sack of 98 aides.
-He clarified that the lay off was not a punitive measure but a normal staff audit.
In the wake of reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki laid off 98 of his personal aides, Saraki’s special adviser on media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, has explained and justified the action by his boss.
This he confirmed to national assembly correspondents in Abuja on Thursday.
He, however, did not confirm the actual number of aides sacked.
Recall Naija News had reported that 98 aides were relieved of their duties in a staff review of aides attached to the Senate President.
Part of those affected by the shake up were Arthur Ndiwe, Saraki’s director of protocol, and Folashade Adigun, head of administration.
But Olaniyonu clarified those affected by the sack were not been punished as the shake-up was done in good faith and was purely part of a comprehensive staff review.
“It has been known for four months that a comprehensive staff review was going on in the office of the senate president,” Olaniyonu said.
“It was just concluded a few days ago and the purpose of the exercise is to reposition the office to improve on service delivery and improve on his ability to deliver on the agenda of the 8th senate.
“We have served for two years and this is a long time enough to determine who is good enough to continue in the last phase of the service.
“You know the senate has just about 22 months to its expiration.
“So, it is an exercise that has now been concluded and we have determined who is good enough to continue, who needs to give way and who may likely come in.”
He also said there are some members of staff “who, by their performance in the last two years, have been deemed fit to continue and those ones are still there.”
“There is also a second category of people who were seconded from the national assembly service commission to the office of the senate president,” he added.
“Some of them were told to revert to bureaucracy where they were from the beginning.
“Then, there is a third set who have been removed maybe, because they were found not to have met expectations of the offices or who did not help enough in the functioning of the office.
“So, you see that actually, it is a positive one, not a punitive measure. It was meant to reposition the office to ensure that the office is more strengthened.’’
On speculations that some of the aides were laid off because they were inherited from David Mark, former senate president, he said there was no truth in that speculation.
He said Saraki accommodated the inherited aides for two years even when he had the power to lay them off immediately he assumed office.