Lawan Vs Machina: How Yobe North Residents Reacted to S/Court’s Ruling By Idris Umar Feta
The Supreme Court on Monday, February 6, 2023 restored the Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, as the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeating Bashir Sheriff Machina hitherto the APC candidate, who won the party’s primary election held on May 28, 2022, for Yobe North Senatorial District.
In a split judgment of three to two, the apex court affirmed Lawan as the authentic Senatorial candidate of the APC. The majority judgment voided and set aside the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
*Tug of War*
The duo of Lawan and Machina have been in a thug of war on who is the rightful APC senatorial candidate for Yobe North.
The apex court had finally ended the speculated battle between the two by declaring Lawan the winner of the APC’s primary election and established that Machina’s suit against him (Lawan) was without oral evidence.
Recall at the time of the Yobe North APC senatorial primaries, Mr. Lawan was pursuing his presidential ambition in his party, the APC, but lost to former Lagos state governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Yobe North Senatorial district is comprised of the following local government; Bade, Jakusko, Karasuwa, Machina and Yusufari.
*Yobe North Electorate React*
Some residents of zone have expressed divergent opinions on the Supreme Court’s verdict. Baba Abdullahi Machina one of the residents, expressed shock over the apex court’s ruling by asking a rhetorical question: how can an individual who did not partake in his party’s primary election be declared winner by the apex court?
According to him, before such judgment was made, there should be an evidence to prove his participation in the primary election or anything at all showing his presence at the venue of the primaries.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s electoral act, in every election, there must be an INEC official who witnesses and supervises the conduct of the election.
“I could remember vividly INEC rejecting the name of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on two occasions because he was not validly nominated for the senate seat.
“In those days, the Supreme Court is the last resort for the poor, but the way things are going, the Supreme Court is now a place where only the highest bidder can get justice even at the expense of others and the truth,” Abdullahi Machina lamented.
“People have lost confidence in the APC and honestly the party will pay dearly in the coming election. I doubt if the APC will win the Yobe North Senatorial seat, they have used their power to grab the seat from the top, we are waiting for them on the election day to see how they can manipulate the outcome of the election”.
“The APC has succeeded in creating voter apathy, because people have lost interest in the party due to lack of transparency,” Abdullahi added.
Another resident Ahmed Yerima a former Student’s Union Government (SUG) president at the Yobe State University said that 80% of the people in the zone are in support of the Supreme Court’s jugdment that reaffirmed Ahmed Lawan as the substantive APC Senatorial candidate, because of the Senate President’s good works.
“The Senate President has brought about 300 hundred projects to the zone. The projects includes road construction, hospitals equipped with modern facilities, upgrade of Yobe airport and water projects among others, scattered all over the zone.
“Majority of Machina supporters are from other zones. Ahmed Lawan is generally perceived as a pillar in the zone. It is often widely said that even as a floor member, Lawn will do better than Machina coupled with possibility of being the Senate President of the next Senate.
“Bashir Machina is a friend to the ruling class, and has always enjoyed his support, that was why the case lingered for this long. I can tell you categorically that the Senate President will win back his seat with a landslide victory,” Yerima said.
*Why Lawan won at S/Court – Aide*
Abdullahi Muhammed Nasir popularly called Manager is a legislative aide to the Senate President.
For him, the judgment of Supreme Court is 100% accepted by the people of Yobe North.
“The truth is, we don’t need to campaign. What Mr. President has done in Yobe North speak for itself. The coming election will be a walk over for us. Bashir will be an easy opponent to beat. The projects undertaken by Lawan are scattered in the entire Senatorial zone, you can verify my claims if you wish.
“Remember the Senate President is satisfied with the outcome of the ruling by Federal High Court and Court of Appeal and decided not appeal the verdict. However, the elders of the Zone appealed the case on his behalf and the Supreme Court gave him his rightful place by declaring him winner,” Nasir said.
As Ahmed Lawan basks in the euphoria of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the outcome of the National Assembly election for Yobe North Senatorial District, next Saturday, will finally tell if the verdict by the apex court was favourable to the people or otherwise.