Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano South) has urged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to disregard Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed’s allegation of nepotism against him.
Gaya, who spoke with State House Correspondents on Tuesday after a private meeting with Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, urged Mohammed to check the records before speaking.
Mohammed was recently reported to had alleged that majority of Osinbajo’s appointees were people from his own ethnic nationality and members of his church.
Gaya said that the president and the vice president deserved respect from all Nigerians.
“First of all, this is interesting; you see in a country like Nigeria, we need to respect our elders; people like President Muhammadu Buhari, you cannot say anything wrong about him or abuse him because he is the president.
“Like, the vice president, there is no point in raising all these issues; I think there is need for, before Junaid speaks, he should be able to check the records of who are the staff of the Office of the Vice President.
“I think I remember vividly; we have a member of the House of Representatives, Hafiz Ibrahim, from Tarauni constituency of Kano State who is from the Office of the Vice President.
“I think the vice president should disregard this issue and continue working as vice president; I believe we should not be distracted; we should work as a team,’’ he said.
On the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State, Gaya said that as the Chairman, Senate Committee of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the committee had been briefed by INEC on its readiness for the election.
According to him, members of the committee will still do oversight of the state and see how they are ready for the elections.
He expressed optimism that the Kogi election would be free and fair, so also other elections in the country.
Gaya added that the committee would support INEC in ensuring a credible hitch-free poll in Kogi.
The senator said that there was need to prune down the number of political parties to make them viable.
“First of all, we are looking at the issue of the number of political parties; actually, they are too many; we have 91 political parties; and currently, the court has added another political party bringing the number to 92 and many are still applying.
“Actually, we are going to de-register almost 85 political parties because they are not qualified.
“They don’t even have a counselor or a House of Assembly member; so all those parties should be de-registered,” he said.
Meanwhile, a political group in Nigeria, Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD), recently alerted the public on attempts by some people to rehash old, baseless and unsubstantiated allegations against Osinbajo.
The group, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Peter Oladele, said that one of such pattern was the allegations by Mohammed in a recent interview.
The group described the allegations as baseless, untrue and laughable, adding that, it was just another attempt to disparage a good, upright and honest man who is committed to the true progress of the country.
Oladele said that based on evidence, Osinbajo was one of the most loved and balanced public office holders who had offered equal opportunities to everyone around him.
The group said only a few weeks ago, Sen. Ali Ndume told the whole world that Osinbajo was passionate about humanitarian crisis in Borno.
“Osinbajo only recently organised the construction of a world-class school in Borno state (Maiduguri International School) through the North-East Children’s Trust Learning Centre, Maiduguri and this is before the former governor of the state, Kashim Shettima named a world class school (The Yemi Osinbajo Primary School) after him because of his contribution to the state.
“Then there is little Aisha Ibrahim, a Boko Haram victim whom the vice president met during a surprise visit to Maiduguri.
“The question that people should ask Junaid Mohammed is simple, is Prof. Osinbajo from Borno state? Or are all the people from that state from his church?
“It is ludicrous that people are trying to tarnish the name of a good man.
“The vice president flows freely with market women and artisans across the country.
“He attends Muslim events and has never been drawn along this nonsensical allegation; he is an upright man and a leading light in this administration,” Oladele said.