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Yobe North APC Ticket: I’m Your Senior – Machina Blasts Senate President Ahmad Lawan

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The last has not been heard about the controversies surrounding the Yobe North Senatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Bashir Machina has insisted he is the rightful candidate.

He said the people are tired of Ahmad Lawan, adding that it is time for Lawan to take a rest and allow the people of the constituency to experience the change they want.

Naija News recalls Bashir Machina emerged the winner of the Yobe North Senatorial primary of the All Progressives Congress but was eventually dropped for the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appeared to have accepted Lawan as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District.

It was gathered that the ruling party uploaded the Senate President’s name on the server of the electoral body alongside its senatorial candidates across the country.

Prior to that time, Machina had refused all entreaties to step down and hand over the senatorial ticket to Lawan.

Lawan was amongst aspirants who contested for the APC presidential ticket but suffered defeated in the primary election where the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, emerged as the Flagbearer.

It is understood that Machina was the sole candidate in the Yobe North APC senatorial primaries as other aspirants who indicated interest were told not to contest to enable Machina hold the ticket for Lawan in case he loses the presidential election.

However, Machina is unwilling to let go of the ticket.

Speaking in an interview published on Monday, 20th June by The Punch, Machina insisted that the party wants to steal his mandate.

Responding to questions during the interview, he said: “As I said in the past, it is not about who is qualified or not, it is about our people who are yearning for change. Lawan would be 16 years in the Senate by the time he completes his fourth tenure so we are eager to give them the change they so desire.”

He added that he is Lawan’s senior in the National Assembly having been first elected into the House of Representatives in 1992 as a 26-year-old.

“I have been in politics since 1992. I was elected a House of Representatives member in 1992. At that time, I was only 26 years. While serving in the House, I was appointed to serve as sub-committee chairman of the House Committee on Fertiliser Procurement and Distribution. I am Lawan’s senior in the National Assembly.  I became a member in 1992 under the Social Democratic Party,” Machina added.

He added that he is the rightful candidate of the APC for the Yobe North senatorial seat, having emerged from the primaries and except he withdraws himself, no other person can lay claim to the candidacy.

He said the action of the APC in substituting his name is illegal and undemocratic, calling out Lawan for allowing himself to be a part of such an ignoble act.

I was recently elected on the day of the election held in Gashua by our party in the presence of party delegates, national representatives of our party, security officials, representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission and numerous other non-governmental observers.

As we can recall, the election was held peacefully and harmoniously. I scored 289 votes. Ballots were cast transparently and openly going by the guidelines of the National Assembly elections as stipulated by the electoral commission. I emerged the winner with 289 votes and I was publicly declared the winner. Delegates representing the six local Government areas were the ones that participated in the voting with 50 delegates representing each local government area making it a total of 300 voters, out of which I got 289 votes.

Speaking further, he said: “I must say I felt disappointed because I never thought that someone like Ahmed Lawan would allow himself to be used for such an unconstitutional action.

“Also, I was surprised when I learnt that my name was not on the list but was rather replaced with Lawan’s. Removing my name from that list is very undemocratic, illegal and inhumane. I wasn’t even consulted before the decision was made. And it’s a known fact that Lawan did not contest a senatorial seat, he contested for the APC presidential primary elections and he lost.

“The Electoral Act, according to Section 31, states that the only way somebody can be replaced in any form is through withdrawal by the individual or death. By the mercies of Allah, I am well and nothing will happen to me and I have not withdrawn from the race. So, substituting my name with that of another person is a great injustice.”