Lawan Majakura, a 33-year-old man, who defeated the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Ahmed Mirwa Lawan in the 18 March House of Assembly election, has narrated how he was asked to step down from the race with an offer of N100 million.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, the lawmaker-elect under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he was able to win the election following the massive support he receives from the people of his constituency despite his poor background.
He said : “During our campaign, there were intimidation and harassment from some people out of political differences, but thank God that despite all the challenges, we were able to win the election.
” It was not an easy task to challenge a Speaker of the state House of Assembly.
” To be honest with you, he (Speaker) did not contact me to step down for him by himself, but a government official and some people I thought were his representatives came to me two times, telling me to step down. They promised to give me N18million, but I refused. Later on, they came back and offered me N100m, but still I refused.
“I told them that my village people bought the nomination forms for me because they believed I would do better, so I did not see any reason to step down for anybody. I told them to meet my people if they actually wanted me to step down for whoever sent them to me. I even told my people what we discussed but we all agreed that I would not step down, so we moved on with our campaign.”
Majakura, who is a volunteer teacher, said he earlier contested for a councillorship position in 2021 under the All Progressives Congress but lost.
“I contested for a councillorship seat in 2021 when I was in the All Progressives Congress (APC) before I joined the PDP, but I didn’t get the ticket. Our people, specifically the youth, asked me to run because they thought I could do better. But God didn’t give it to us. So we prayed for a better position.”
On what he was doing before joining politics, he said : “After my studies (a diploma in Public Administration and Management from the Atiku Abubakar Collage of Legal and Islamic studies, Nguru in 2013. After that, I moved to the Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu for a National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) on Business Administration and Management in 2020), I sat down to think about our society’s challenges and what I could do to help. That’s why I decided to establish straw-hut classrooms where I was teaching kids. It was meant to help women and to build a better society. I was teaching English, Hausa and Mathematics. Later on, I invited three volunteer teachers. I used to give them N500 or N1,000 monthly, depending on how I earned profit in my fish selling business. We are teaching the kids free of charge. They are very understanding people; that’s why they have never lamented.
“Since the state and the local government did not give us license to operate the school fully, we train them on some basic knowledge at primary level and help them secure admission into junior and secondary schools. I can tell you that we have more than 45 pupils.
“I understand that one of the serious challenges we are facing in our rural communities is backwardness in education, social amenities, potable water and effective health care facilities. That’s why I engage in many activities, including humanitarian and community services.”
Asked on his alleged arrest before the election, the lawmaker-elect said :” Actually, I was arrested two times. One of them was from a politician in the APC before I left the party, after I criticised him on Facebook. He told the police to arrest and detain me for five days. The second one was from the Speaker, who I defeated. I criticised him on poor representation and I was arrested and detained for 48 hours. It was last year during Ramadan.
“They arrested me for standing with my people. For example, whenever I heard that the state government approved a constituency project for state lawmakers, I used to verify where our own was executed and if it had any impact in our society? These were among the questions I used to ask myself. I even followed them to make sure the project was done. So I used to criticise him whenever I discovered that we had a problem he could solve but he failed to do so. And I would criticise with facts.
On what motivated him to contest the seat against the Speaker, he said : “Many issues influenced me to contest the seat. First, in the area of education, we are moving backwards at Majakura. We have seen how things are getting out of hand every day. Our classrooms are dilapidated. There is lack of job opportunities for our teeming youths. In the health sector we are doing badly as well. So I realised that we lacked good representation to address these challenges. That is why our people said I should contest the seat. Perhaps they think I will do things differently.
“They bought the nomination forms for me. They also contributed funds for the campaigns. And they did not contact me to ask if I were interested or not. They just bought the nomination forms and said they wanted me to contest. And I didn’t ask them how much they bought the forms; I just filled and returned it to them for submission.
“You know that when you are contesting a seat in any political party there is a primary election, but I won unopposed. No one bought forms to engage me on this seat. In short, I obtained an automatic ticket from our party, the PDP.
” I stopped all my activities to focus on the campaign. When I kicked off my campaign from village to village on foot, I received a donation of motorcycle from one person from Jigawa State. Someone later gave me a car to mobilise and reach out to our people, especially the youth. I have not seen any of these donors, neither do I know them.
“My village people, who are mostly farmers and fish sellers, also raised funds to fuel the car for our campaign. There were people who would call me on phone and wish us success, while some would send N50,000 or N20,000 to my bank account, all because they thought I could do much.”
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