Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has confirmed the dismissal of some of the aides working in his office.

Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki’s spokesman, confirmed this to national assembly correspondents in Abuja on Thursday.

He, however, did not confirm the number of aides sacked.

TheCable had reported that 98 aides were affected in shake-up which followed a staff audit earlier in the year.

Arthur Ndiwe, Saraki’s director of protocol, and Folashade Adigun, head of administration, were among those laid off.

But Olaniyonu said the shake-up was done in good faith and was not meant to serve as a punitive measure in any way.

“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.’’

He said in view of the exercise, there a was likelihood that a new set of people would be engaged.

On the number of those affected, those retained and those likely to be enlisted, Olaniyonu said he had no details.

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 ulterior motive to that.

He said Saraki accommodated the inherited aides for two years even when he had the power to lay them off on assumption of office.

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