THE Yobe North Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bashir Machina, has insisted that he won’t step down for Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
Lawan had contested the APC presidential ticket but lost to Bola Tinubu in the primary election held in Abuja.
Having failed in his presidential bid, there are indications that Lawan is seeking to return to the Senate by securing the ticket already won by Machina to represent the APC in the election for Yobe North Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections.
However, Machina says he will not step down for Lawan, despite reports that pressure is being mounted on him to allow the Senate President to take up the APC ticket for the senatorial district.
Machina insisted that he will not step down while speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday.
He 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.
“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.”
When asked if he will step down for Lawan, Machina said, “No, I won’t step down because Ahmed Lawan did not contest for the Senate. Of course, it is a known fact that Ahmed Lawan contested for President and lost. And when I contested for Senate, Lawan did not participate (in the primary), he did not contest (for Senate). So, I don’t think that may be in any way an issue.”
Machina added that he is senior to Lawan by legislative ranking as he was in the House of Representatives in the defunct Third Republic before Lawan joined the National Assembly in the Fourth Republic.
He insisted that he will not step down even if President Muhammadu Buhari asked him to, noting that the leadership of the APC would not engage in undemocratic dispositions experienced in other parties.