Bashir Machina, Yobe North Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted that he will not step down for Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the incumbent.
Lawan gave up his opportunity to seek reelection as the senator representing Yobe North when he vied for the office of the president and lost.
Insisting that he will not give up his slot, Machina said Lawan should not have contested the presidential primary if he had ambition of returning to the senate.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, 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 noted that a letter making the rounds on social media was a response to an unnamed caller from the APC headquarters urging him to transfer his mandate to Lawan.
“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.
Machina noted that not even the leadership of the party will make him change his mind. “No, I won’t step down because he did not contest for the senate. Of course, it is a known fact that Ahmad Lawan contested for president and lost. 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.
The candidate also stated that he is senior to the Senate President by legislative ranking as he was in the House of Representatives in the defunct Third Republic while Lawan joined the National Assembly in the Fourth Republic.