Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Buhari cuts number of aides, journalists for foreign, local trips

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday slashed the number of aides and journalists that would accompany him on both foreign and local trips.

This was contained in a memo circulated to the relevant departments in the Presidential Villa.

Mr. Buhari, who on Monday officially assumed work at the Presidential Villa, about three weeks after his inauguration, had promised to run a lean government. He initially operated from the Defence House, Abuja.

The president had two weeks ago requested the National Assembly to authorise him to appoint 15 advisers, as against 18 advisers maintained by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Jonathan was also renowned for travelling with a large retinue of aides, journalists and hangers-on for international events.

Under the new arrangement, two journalists, as against four, will travel officially with the president.
It was unclear the extent to which the number of security and protocol officials has been cut.

A presidency source said the memo had already been sent to all the relevant departments in the Villa to intimate them of the new thinking of the new administration.

The source said, “The security may have between three and four slots, rotated between the old and new officers, there may be other slots for the senior security officers, but I know the media has two slots for journalists and two for media officers (those who carry the podium and the information officer).”

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