The former senatorial candidate of the All Progressive Party for the Yobe North Senatorial District, Bashir Machina, has urged the people of Yobe State to vote en masse for the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu and the incumbent governor of the state, Mai Buni.
Machina on Thursday in his first statement after the ‘controversial’ ruling which removed him as the senatorial candidate and upheld the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as the candidate, noted that the APC has presented the best presidential candidate and urged the people to throw their weight behind him at the elections come Saturday.
The PUNCH reported that on Monday, February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court in a judgement by a five-man panel, affirmed Lawan as the APC senatorial candidate for Yobe north.
Before the ruling of the Apex Court, two High Courts both in Damaturu Abuja had upheld Machina’s emergence as the Senatorial candidate of Yobe North at the May 28, primary elections of the APC.
Machina who had gone silent since the ruling canvassed that the people of Yobe should vote for the APC and categorically mentioned names of the presidential and governorship candidates but was, however, silent about Lawan’s name.
He said,“Tinubu is a large-hearted philanthropist, a reputable humanist who will drive productivity and growth, he has the capacity to drive the nation in the direction that we want it, I urge you to support his presidential ambition for the betterment of our country.
“We have no fear of the opposition party because Yobe is already for APC, let us shun violence and cast our votes for our party which by implication is voting for good governance.”
The PUNCH reported that Yobe North wasn’t the only one who had a similar situation as the same was done in Akwa Ibom North West where the Supreme Court declared the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, was the winner of the party’s senatorial ticket instead of Udom Ekpoudom who won the primary election for the APC.
The Supreme Court judgments have overridden the provisions in section 33 of the Electoral Acts ( Amended, 2022) which provides that, “A political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted under Section 29 of this Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate: Provided that in the case of such withdrawal or death of a candidate, the political party affected shall, within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, hold a fresh primary election to produce and submit a fresh candidate to the commission for the election concerned.”
It would be recalled that the duo of Lawan and Akpabio contested for the presidential ticket of the APC but were defeated by Tinubu who clinched the ticket.