President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki on Thursday, August 10, 2017, sacked 98 of his legislative aides.
The Senate President's director of protocol, Arthur Ndiwe and head of administration, Folashade Adigun, were casualties in the clear out.
Addressing journalists at the National Assembly, Saraki’s spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu said the exercise was necessitated by the need to select the best hands for the job.
“It has been known since four months ago that a comprehensive staff review exercise was going on in the office of the Senate President," he 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 to 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. The 8th Senate has just about 22 months to its expiration," he added.
Describing it as an ‘issue of restructuring’, Olaniyonu noted that exercise was carried out in three categories.
“Decisions have been taken on three sides. 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 and in this exercise some of them were told to revert back to bureaucracy where they were from the beginning.
“Then there is a third set who have been removed obviously maybe because they were found not to have met the expectation of their offices or who not helping enough in the function of the office,” he added.
Reacting to claims that those affected were aides of the former Senate President, David Mark, he said: "It is good for a public official like the Senate President to have given everybody the opportunity to serve in that office. He has done that retaining everybody - carry on the entire team for two years, even more than two years.
“The two years was sufficient enough to determine who is doing well, who needs a little push and who cannot really fit in entirely and within the two year the assessment was made and the decision was taken.
“So nobody committed any sin. It was at the discretion of the Senate president. He has been able to determine within this period those that had helped in his agenda and so on.
“This is important for the efficiency of the office.
“When a man comes in, he has the right to ask everybody to go but he did not. People have been given two years to perform on the job. Some of the people that have been affected are people he even employed. Most of the people he inherited will only revert back to their offices,” he added.