Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Senator Kabiru Gaya has refuted allegations of sectionalism leveled against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, urging Nigerians to ignore the claims.
He also urged the Vice President not to be distracted in his official duties.
Nigeria’s second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed, had alleged that Osinbajo, as Acting President in 2017, appointed people from a section of the country and members of his church into government positions.
Gaya, speaking with State House Correspondents after a private meeting with Osinbajo, said the allegations were unfounded and do not reflect the true position of things in the Office of the Vice President.
“I think before Junaid Mohammed speaks he should be able to check the records of who are the staff of the Office of the Vice President,” said the Senator.
“I think I remember vividly that we have a member of the House of Representatives from Tarauni Constituency (Kano State) who is from the Office of the Vice President.
“I think that the Vice President should disregard this issue and continue working as the Vice President and for Nigeria.
“I believe he should not be distracted,” he said.
Gaya, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), disclosed that the National Assembly might consider the de-registration of some political parties.
He said most political parties in the country do not meet the conditions for their continued existence.
“We have 91 political parties and the court has added another political party, making it 92, and there are many applying; but there are criteria constitutionally that the parties should have a kind of qualification or, at least, requirement before they are registered or deregistered,” he explained.
“So, actually, we are going to de-register almost 85 political parties because they are not qualified.
“They don’t even have a councilor or House of Assembly member. So, all those parties should be de-registered.
“The problem is that if you de-register a political party, they would come back through a back door again and register; but we have to have new conditions, tough conditions, for registration of political parties whereby we could maintain the number of four or five.”
On the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, Gaya said that the Senate committee on INEC has met with the chairman and other officials of the Commission to ascertain their preparedness for the elections.
According to him, the INEC has assured of its readiness for a free, fair and credible election.
Senator Gaya said the National Assembly would give the Commission the support it needs for the success of the elections.