Buruji Kashamu was on the losing side in the PDP chairmanship battle. He backed Ali Modu-Sheriff who eventually lost and now his standing within the main opposition party is tenuous. The current chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, has strengthened the hands of Kashamu’s opponents within the Ogun state chapter of the party.
Kashamu is now making a play for Option B – ingratiating himself with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Pres. Muhammadu Buhari. He is being subtle about it but the signs are clear to see in a statement he released on Sunday criticising his arch-rival, former Ogun state governor and PDP chairmanship aspirant, Gbenga Daniel.
Evidence 1: Whereas other PDP politicians in the country have criticised the way Pres. Buhari is seemingly selectively prosecuting the war against corruption, Kashamu hailed the war.
Bear in mind that Kashamu is also facing prosecution as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is seeking to extradite him to the United States where he is wanted on drug related charges.
- Kashamu described Gbenga Daniel’s chairmanship ambition as “an assault on the anti-corruption war.”
- He criticised Daniel for spending large portions of his speech during his formal declaration lampooning the anti-corruption drive of the Buhari administration.
- He asked the FG and EFCC to hasten the corruption case against Daniel since he was now “making a jest of the anti-corruption war.”
- Quote: “OGD is like ‘a rotten mackerel’ in the moonlight; he shines from afar but stinks badly at close range! It’s therefore high time that those of us in the PDP realised that the current economic adversity of Nigeria cannot become a licence to take Nigerians for granted by presenting corrupt people for high public offices.”
Evidence 2: Kashamu – a PDP senator – implicitly criticised past PDP administrations as undemocratic. He said Daniel “insultingly eulogised the undemocratic past of which he was eminently involved; when our elections were characterised by shameless rigging, as if current efforts and legislations to ensure free and fair elections are unworthy.”
This is another deviation from his party’s position as most PDP members publicly denounce Pres. Buhari and claim that the incumbent is reversing the democratic gains of the past few years.
Recall: This is not the first time that Kashamu has attempted to make nice with the ruling party or a member of the ruling party. In April 2015, shortly after the victory of the APC in the last elections, when popular wisdom was that APC leader Bola Tinubu would have an outsize role in the incoming Muhammadu Buhari government, Kashamu wrote a glowing open letter describing Tinubu as a “role model and true hero worthy of emulation.”
“Truth be told, men like you are made up of sterner stuff and are rare to come by in every generation. Little wonder you are called the Asiwaju and Jagaban of Borgu. I doff my hat,” Kashamu said of Tinubu.
Tinubu was having none of it however. In a response, the APC chieftain said “Kashamu needs to stop this cynical fawning. It will not work. The days of false adulation are gone in Nigerian politics. Fake praise singers like Kashamu will find that their particular craft is no longer in vogue.”