A last minute moves by the incumbent Senate president, Mr. Ahmed Lawan, to secure the All progressive Congress (APC) Senatorial ticket for Yobe North has met a brick wall, as Mr. Bashir Machina, who won the senatorial primary of the party refused to relinquish the ticket and denied stepping down for Lawan.
Recall that Lawan participated in the APC presidential primary election but came a distant fourth with 152 votes.
HERALD gathered that Lawan had nominated a placeholder to secure the APC ticket for senatorial seat. However, after the primary, Lawan has run into troubled waters as Machina refused to trade away the ticket.
In a letter dated June 13, 2022 and addressed to the national chairman of APC, Mr. Abdulahi Adamu, the Yobe north ticket holder clarified that he would not relinquish the mandate to represent the zone in the senate in 2023.
“I write to reaffirm my continual aspiration as the All Progressives Congress unequivocal senatorial candidate for Yobe north senatorial district, following my clearance, participation, and victory at the party primaries, where I polled 289 votes out of the 300 total votes cast.
“I write to reaffirm that I remain committed to the mandate, which I won at the primaries, and I have not in any form or manner communicated otherwise. I have been informed of a purported malicious, and mischievous report and insinuation to the contrary. Please note that I never at any time, signed or communicated in any form any intent to vacate the mandate, which was won at the primaries,” he wrote.
Machina maintained that he was totally committed to his mandate and was working towards delivering Yobe North Senatorial district in the 2023 elections.
Last Friday, supporters of Machina organised a solidarity rally in which they insisted that their principal would not step down for the senate president, who has repeatedly represented the constituency for 23 years; first as the member of the House of Representatives for Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency between 1999- 2007, and the senator for the Yobe North district from 2007 to date.
According to NAN, Machina’s supporters, led by a former commissioner for youth in the state, Mr. Salleh Kachalla, visited the palace of the Emir of Bade, Abubakar Suleiman II. They told the Emir that the people of Bade and Jakusko Local Governments are in support of Machina’s candidacy.
“We the people of Bade and Jakusko have decided to throw our weight behind the candidature of Bashir Machina who was duly elected as the APC candidate for our zone to take over from the Senate President. We are in your Palace today specifically to seek your blessings and formally inform you of our resolve to support the candidature of Bashir Machina who is from old Nguru Emirate,” Kachalla said while addressing the Emir.
Nura Gashua, who was also at the venue, said having spent 23 years at the national assembly, Lawan’s time as the representative of the people was up and he should not plot a comeback through the backdoor.
Former Secretary of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mr. Mohmmed Gaskanta, who attended the rally, said Machina was duly elected as the party’s candidate and should not step down for anyone.
“We cannot accept anything less. As far as we are concerned, we have our candidate in the person of Bashir Machina and no one can change it. If they like, they can change it at the villa but we are the people casting our votes here. The people in the villa cannot decide who is our senator in the zone,” he added.