The senate president of Nigeria, Ahmad Lawan may not return to his seat in the National Assembly after the 2023 general elections.
Bashir Machina, the Yobe North Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress stated that President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who currently occupies the seat, did not have a plan to return to the Senate.
While insisting on not giving the ticket to Lawan, Machina stated the senator would not have contested the party’s presidential primary if he had the ambition of returning to the Senate.
Ahmed Lawan had contested for the APC Presidential primaries where he lost to the former Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Tinubu.
The Senate president was the anointed ‘consensus’ presidential candidate of APC national chairman Abdullahi Adamu and did not purchase a nomination form to contest in the 2023 election to represent Yobe North Senatorial District.
INEC has put a deadline for all political parties to submit a list of their senatorial candidates, latest on Friday of June 17, 2022.
Machina was the only aspirant to purchase the APC nomination form to contest a seat for Yobe North Senatorial District and was elected the party’s candidate unopposed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Yobe State had also pledged their support for the Yobe North senatorial candidate of the party, Machina.
Speaking on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television Machina said, “The pressure is more or less speculative. There wasn’t any clear-cut person or message directly that says I should step down but from the headquarters of my party (APC), recently I was informed that if I was still in the race, I should write formally to inform the party that I am.”
He confirmed that the letter that trended online was his response to the request from an unnamed caller from the national headquarters of the APC.
“I formally wrote a letter to the party, reiterating and affirming my position, that I am still the candidate; that I did not withdraw, and I am not withdrawing, and I’m in the race in the event that anybody is contemplating or doubting that there is any move,” he said.
When asked if the leadership of the APC asked him to step down for Lawan, Machina said, “No, I won’t step down because Ahmad Lawan did not contest for the Senate. Of course, it is a known fact that Ahmad Lawan contested for president and lost. And when I contested for Senate, Lawan did not participate (in the primary) or did not contest (for Senate). So, I don’t think that may be in any way an issue.”
When asked what he would do if the President Muhammadu Buhari, asked him to, Machina said the APC would not repeat the undemocratic tendencies in other parties for which the ruling party was created to end.
Since the conclusion of the presidential primary election, the APC senatorial candidate had disclosed that he is being persuaded to withdraw from the race to allow Lawan contest in the election.
“I am being approached by some persons but I will not withdraw, Insha Allah,” Machina said.
“As far as I’m concerned, I contested for the Yobe North senatorial ticket and I won the election.
“I was confirmed elected because there were other contestants but I was the one that was qualified. I happened to be unopposed.
Lawan is currently one of the longest serving members of the National Assembly, haven been elected as a House of Reps member in 1999.
If the APC candidate does not withdraw from the race, the next election will signal Lawan’s exit from the National Assembly since 1999; first as a member of the House of Representatives and later, a Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District since 2007.