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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

JUST IN:Senate President, Bukola Saraki Sacks 100 Aides.

I’m not aware of sack –Media aide

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Strong indications emerged yesterday that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, may have sacked over 100 of his political aides he appointed soon after he assumed office in 2015. 

Sources familiar with the development told Sunday Sun that Saraki did not spare any of his political appointees.

One of the sources said the sack came as a rude shock to his aides, as none expected it to happen anytime soon. He said the aides, some of who had no portfolios, but received monthly salaries from the National Assembly bureaucracy were unaware of the sack.

The sack is, however, expected to take effect in May, 2017, just a month to Saraki’s second anniversary in office. Saraki was elected in controversial circumstance as Senate President.

Those affected include his Chief of Staff, his Advisers on Media, Political Matters, Inter-Governmental Affairs, Youth Affairs, Chief Press Secretary, among others.

The running cost of Saraki’s office and his Deputy’s, Ike Ekweremadu, including salaries of aides, Sunday Sun gathered, is over N1 billion monthly. It was also gathered that Saraki decided to overhaul his cabinet to give room to his close allies and friends to come in.

The source, who spoke to Sunday Sun, said over 90 percent of Saraki’s current aides were appointed through referrals, adding that the Senate president wanted to placate some people who played roles in his emergence.

“Some of the aides are siblings of serving and former Senators and many neither have portfolios nor offices in the National Assembly,” the sources said. Sunday Sun further learnt that Saraki was also uncomfortable with the attitude of some of aides, who are either currently facing trial or in running battles with security agents.

Saraki was elected Senate President on the June 9, 2015. His emergence was against the wish of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ahmed Lawan who was anointed by the party to be the Senate President was recently named as the new Leader of the upper legislative chamber.

Saraki is currently facing trial over an alleged false declaration of assets when he held sway as governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

However, when contacted, Saraki’s Media Aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he was unaware of the sack, but disclosed that there was an ongoing staff audit.