There are indications that about 98 staff sacked by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, were those he inherited from the immediate past Senate President, David Mark. New Telegraph also learnt Saraki’s action was propelled by his long desire to bring in his own people obviously to benefit from his leadership of the Senate. Our correspondent further learnt that other affected staff in the layoff exercise were those who were from the National Assembly Service Commission.
There have been reports alleging that there was an emerging overbearing tendencies by the Board of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) on the office of the President of the Senate. It was also learnt that Saraki was fed up with the development and resolved not to tolerate such external influences anymore and decided to layoff all those constituting unnecessary encumbrances to his office.
It could be recalled that the board members who were said to have imposed the present Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, on Saraki, against his choice candidate, Ben Effeture, have their candidates on secondment to Saraki’s office. Among those sacked by Saraki are his director of protocol, Arthur Ndiwe, whom he inherited from David Mark, and has spent a total of 10 years on the position.
He served Mark for 8 years before continuing with Saraki in June 2015. It was further learnt that the affected aides were issued sack letters through the office of the Chief of staff, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed. However, Saraki, yesterday, dismissed the allegations of political consideration in the staff restructuring exercise carried out by his office. He also explained that most of those affected were actually not measuring up to their responsibilities, in view of the dire need to reposition the office for greater efficiency.
Saraki, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, through the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that the staff restructuring exercise in his office was designed to inject efficiency in the running structure of the office.
He also disclosed that the sack affected both inherited and personally appointed staff, contrary to speculations that it was targeted at only the inherited staff. While denying the reports that the restructuring was aimed at cutting the cost of running the office of the Senate President, Olaniyonu said that new staff would soon be recruited by the office on the basis of those who could bring about the desired change and efficiency.
According to him, over the past four months, it has been known that there would be review of staff to improve on the agenda of the office of the Senate President, saying that the staff of the office had served for two years.
The media aide said that two years were enough to determine who should continue to stay and those who should relieved of their duties based on performance. He further disclosed that there was also a second category of persons who were on secondment from the National Assembly Service Commission, but by virtue of the staff restructuring, had been told to return to their mother office.