A day after his death, the animosity between late ex-lawmaker from Ogun State, Buruji Kashamu, and former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, remains rife.
Kashamu died at the First Cardiology Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos from COVID-19 complications on Saturday.
In a condolence letter that carried more of jabs than eulogies, Obasanjo said that Kashamu used his lifetime to “maneuver law and politics to escape facing justice on alleged criminal offence in Nigeria and outside”, adding that, “No legal, political, cultural, social, or even medical maneuver could stop the cold hand of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.”
Before Saturday, Obasanjo had in a letter on January 7, 2014 to the then Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, threatened to withdraw his membership of the in Ogun and South-West over what he described as the treatment of Kashamu with reverence.
Describing the late ex-lawmaker as an habitual criminal wanted abroad for crime in that letter, Obasanjo said, “I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom extradition has been requested by the US Government.
“I will consider withdrawing my activity with PDP at local, state, zonal and national levels until the anomalous and shameful situation is corrected.”
But swiftly responding to the former Nigerian President at the time, Kashamu accused Obasanjo of engaging in wicked campaign of calumny and blackmail against him over his perceived loss of political relevance in Ogun State and the South-West.
He said, “It is now clear to all and sundry that why I have become the target of Obasanjo’s wicked campaign of calumny and blackmail is his perceived loss of political relevance in Ogun State and the South-West. In his 18-page satanic letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, I was the other person – indeed the only one (after the President) – that he singled out for his venomous attack. But if the truth be told, I am not the architect of whatever political woes that he is suffering today. Like David, I am just a tool in the hands of the almighty Allah.
“In his usual hypocritical manner, he talked about not being able to work with me because of his principles and decency. But the questions Nigerians should ask him are: where were these principles when he used me to fight Gbenga Daniel? Where was his self-righteousness when I took the party structure from Daniel and handed it to Obasanjo? Where was his decency when he brought Gen. Adetunji Olurin to me and asked that I should roll my structure behind his governorship ambition? Where was his morality when he introduced me to South-West PDP leaders like Engr. Segun Oni, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade and a host of others? Where was his discipline when he hosted me several times in his Hilltop mansion, taking me into his bedroom and innermost recesses? Where was his decency when he accepted donations from me to his church and other concerns?
“Where was his gumption when he mounted the rostrum to sing my praises, praying for me as he did in May 2010 during a reception for the former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye? I can go on and on!
“Let me state from the outset that contrary to Obasanjo’s claim, I am not the leader of the party in the South-West. I am just one of the party’s foot soldiers in the zone and it is in that capacity that I am made the chairman of the organisation and mobilisation committee for the party in the zone.”