Alhaji Bashir Machina, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District at the 2023 election has disowned the withdrawal letter credited to him insisting that it was forged.
The letter sighted by Everyday.ng on the Internet has all the marks of a forgery, haven been dated 4th September, 2022; but received at the APC secretariat in July, about two months before the letter itself was written.
There has been controversy over the Yobe North seat, because its current occupant is the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan. Lawan threw in his hat to contest for the nation’s highest seat at the APC presidential primary, but, like a dozen others, lost out to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Since then, there have been concerted moves by his party to bring him in as the APC candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District, though Machina won the ticket.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rebuffed APC’s move, but many believe there are underground efforts to foist a fait accompli on the electoral body.
Also, Lawan, who is longest serving federal legislator, serving since 1999 (two terms as a House of Representatives member and four as a Senator), appears to have been disqualified by the new electoral law that forbids politicians from seeking two different political seats in two separate primary elections.
Reacting to claims that he had stepped down for Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Machina, holding tight to his mandate, stated on Sunday in Damaturu that it was also not true that he had defected from the APC.
“It has been brought to my notice that some unscrupulous elements forged a letter of my withdrawal from the race out of mischief and blackmail.
“I state unequivocally that the letter was forged. I did not at any time withdraw or resign from the APC.
“I was shocked when I discovered that some persons concocted plans to mislead the public particularly my supporters into believing that I have withdrawn,’’ he stated.
The candidate called on the national secretariat of the APC to issue a statement on the forged letter which carried its official stamp.
Machina stated also that he had instructed his lawyers to institute legal action against those behind the forged letter of his withdrawal from the race.
▪︎ Additional reports by NAN.