Yobe APC and the five-finger count

Whenever an election season rolls in, a wedge issue becomes readily available in the public discourse. For a good or bad reason(s), Nigerians like never before have realised the importance of getting a competent leader at the helm. It is exactly why they are willing to break the bank of record tracking to facilitate that.

As morning shows the day, the arduous task of selecting leaders has started right at the party level. Although some delegates have messed up the chance of selecting good leaders to represent their parties, same cannot be said about Yobe North senatorial district primaries wherein Hon. Bashir Sharif Machina emerged as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This happened at the expense of Senator Ahmad Lawal who contested and lost the APC presidential primary to Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Indirect primaries were adopted by parties in some states as a means of checking and limiting the abuses of godfathers. In an indirect primary, voters elect delegates who choose the party’s candidates at nominating convention. Rules for selecting these delegates are determined by political parties and vary from state to state.

Politicians at every level and positions were expected to accept in a good faith the outcome of their primaries. Unfortunately, waka-jumping has dominated the political atmosphere ever since the primaries were conducted. For the senate president, the story is different as the man only sees his salvation in exercising five-finger discount, an action which majority of the people were unable to anticipate. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery and enclosed in an enigma.

Albeit, it takes two to tango, Senate President Ahmad Lawal must have partners in that crime chief of which are the APC chieftains of Yobe North under whose supervision Hon. Machina contested and won the senatorial primary. Machina’s case, which is now treated as a ‘political football’ by the APC national chair, is a mockery of justice.

As Ralph S. Boots said in the aftermath of New Jersey direct primaries in 1917, that, until political highbinders, hypocrites and deceivers have their lying voices stilled and their vicious writings punished by drastic libel laws, we may not under any system secure the best choice of candidates for office.

This statement is very much true as ever and that Lawal has to learn to toe the party line if he wishes to save the sinking ship.

Mubarak Shuaib,


Misau LGA,

Bauchi state

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