After his failed presidential bid, Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawal reportedly moved to reclaim the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for his decade-long senatorial seat in Yobe State, but Alhaji Bashir Sheriff Machina, whom he had entrusted the seat with refused to step down for him
Last week, the senate president woefully failed In APC presidential primaries. He lost the APC ticket to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the party convention in Eagles Square, and his return to clinch the senatorial ticket faced strong resistance from Machina who won the party primaries for the zone.
It was gathered that Lawan had earlier replaced himself with Machina, who he entrusted with the task to carry on with the campaign to secure the APC ticket for the Yobe North Senatorial seat.
Machina who scored 289 votes out of the 300 total votes cast, also wrote the party’s leadership, reaffirming his continual aspiration, and insisted that he would not relinquish the mandate, a development that increases the tension in the Lawal’s base.
In the letter he wrote to APC, Machina stated: “I write to reaffirm that I remain committed to the mandate which I won at the primaries and I have not in 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. I am totally committed to my mandate and I am working towards delivering Yobe North Senatorial District to our great party, the All Progressives Congress.”
The supporters of Machina also organised a solidarity protest stressing that Machina won’t step down for the senate president who has repeatedly represented the zone since 2007 after his eight years as a member Federal House of Representatives.
Similarly, the Concerned Stakeholders of the ruling APC in the zone have thrown their weight behind Machina not to step down for Lawal.
In a press statement signed by the leader of the group, Abba Maina Yusufari on Tuesday, Lawal was commended for his contribution to the senatorial district.
However, the group stressed that Lawal needs to give Machina a chance after his 24 years in the National Assembly.
Recall that Bauchi State Governor had said that he would try the model pioneered by Sokoto State governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, where a serving politician can arrange with his most trusted loyalist to temporarily hold the ticket for him while he tests his fortunes somewhere. If he fails, he returns back and retains his ticket without a fight.
When Governor Bala lost his Presidential bid to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Kashim, whom he entrusted his guber ticket with, stepped down for him to reclaim the ticket.