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How Osinbajo Failed to Stop Sacking of Aides



Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s moves to delay the sacking of his aides were not successful, The Punch reports.

An online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, had earlier on Wednesday reported that about 35 of the aides were sacked. However, The Punch could not independently confirm the exact number as of the time of filing the report.

It was learnt that the VP’s office had sought to delay the matter till the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country from London on November 17.

The delay was said to have been sought to allow the VP discuss the issue with the President, but the Presidency reportedly went ahead to effect the sacking.

“There was an intervention for a delay, but the decision was effected while the President has yet to return  (to the country),” a source said.

The source claimed the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, effected the action.

One of the affected aides was said to have been denied clearance to access the Villa on Wednesday from the Pilot Gate of the Presidential Villa.

Osinbajo, it was learnt, had allegedly more aides than  Buhari, some of whom were appointed while he was the  acting President when Buhari was in London in 2017.

A top source at the Presidency said, “It is true that many of VP’s aides were given termination letters. However, I cannot confirm the exact number because it was not done in public. But you know it is political.

“Some of those dismissed are those who had been made redundant since the VP’s duties have been reduced and some of the social investment programmes have been put under other ministries.”

Another source said the President was not aware of the sacking of the VP’s aides, saying it was the handiwork of the cabal in the Presidency.

Aides to Osinbajo as of 2017, according to Premium Times,  were about 52 while those of the President were 25.

However, other appointments were said to have been made for Osinbajo which were never made public.

Some of the aides, it was learnt, were being paid by donor agencies and not directly by the Federal Government.

The President also appointed four more aides for Osinbajo in August 2019.

They are Ahmad Zakari (Special Adviser on Infrastructure), Obafela Bank-Olemoh (Senior Special Assistant on Education Interventions), Louis Odion (Senior Technical Assistant on Print Media) and Ajuri Ngelale  (Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs).

When contacted  for comments on the sacking of the aides,  the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said, “The SGF has responsibility for the issuance of letters of appointment, and where the need arises, sack letters as well.”

But the Director of Information, Office of the SGF,  Willie Bassey, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that he was not aware of the sacking.

“I am not aware of any letter. I am hearing such thing from you for the first time. I am not aware of it,” he said.

The  Senior Special Assistant to the VP on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, did not respond to enquiries by the newspaper.

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Lawan: NASS Will Approve Any Request from Buhari



The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday said any request from President Muhammadu Buhari would make Nigeria a better place, and such would be acted on “expeditiously.”

Lawan spoke when the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay visited him in his office on Thursday.

Sagay had called for the timely passage of the Special Criminal Court and other similar bills, saying such would  help the anti-corruption war and ensure that the fight was successfully won with speed and energy.

He also appealed to the Senate to consider the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Responding, Lawan said, “This is a new Senate. Going by our rules and I believe that goes for the House of Reps too, any issue that was not concluded in the last National Assembly, will have to start all over again.

“So, as far as we are concerned, those bills will have to come again and start to go through the process from the very beginning.

“We are ready. In fact, we are in a haste if those bills are ready for us to start working on them.”

Lawan said there was no request before the Senate for the confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place in terms of appointments or legislation.

“When such request comes, the Senate will act expeditiously to ensure that we play our part in the confirmation or passing of legislation appropriately.”

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Buhari Hails Jonathan @ 62, Says His Humility, Patriotism Will Continue to Resonate



President Muhammadu Buhari has praised former President Goodluck Jonathan’s humility and patriotism, saying that the qualities will continue to resonate.

This is contained in a message to congratulate his predecessor, who has turned 62.

The message, signed by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 62nd birthday, joining the nation in praying for longer life, good health and more strength to keep serving the nation.

“President Buhari rejoices with family, friends and political associates of the former president, lauding him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office, sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.

“President Buhari believes the former President’s legacy of humility and patriotism will continue to resonate, inspiring generations to come on the sacrifices made for the stability of democracy and promotion of sustainable development.

“The President wishes the former President and his family more years of joyful celebrations.”

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Tottenham Hotspur: Pochettino Out, Jose Mourinho In



Jose Mourinho was on Wednesday appointed Tottenham’s new manager to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, with the club languishing 14th in the Premier League.

The Portuguese former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager signed a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season, the north London club said in a statement.

Pochettino, 47, transformed Spurs’ fortunes after arriving from Southampton in 2014 and although he failed to win a trophy he took the club to the Champions League final for the first time in their history just six months ago.

But the Argentine was sacked on Tuesday, with Tottenham struggling in the league after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games.

This season they were knocked out of the League Cup by fourth-tier Colchester United and suffered an embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

“I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters,” said Mourinho, who has won domestic titles in a record four different countries.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football. He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician.

“He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

Spurs hailed their new boss, saying in their statement: “Jose is one of the world’s most accomplished managers having won 25 senior trophies.”

He won Champions League titles with Porto and Inter Milan.

The 56-year-old Portuguese won three Premier League titles over two spells in charge of Chelsea and returned to England to manage Manchester United in 2016.

Mourinho was sacked last December following a poor run of results and has been out of work since, most recently working as a TV pundit.

His first match in charge will be the London derby away to West Ham on Saturday.


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