By Steve Oliyide
My attention has been drawn yet again to another unguarded, uncouth and irresponsible vituperation by the Senator representing the Ogun East Senatorial district, Buruji Kasamu in some national newspapers and severally on the social media, coming on the heels of last Wednesday’s public and official declaration of the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to contest for the office of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja.
As usual, my reaction was to maintain stolid silence and ignore the purported press release in the light of the fact that most of the issues raised have been repeated by him severally in the past and most especially because in the course of taking the landmark decision to contest for the exalted office of the PDP chairmanship, Otunba Gbenga Daniel had calculated and envisaged Kasamu as a wounded dog who will do everything to tarnish the image of Otunba Daniel. Definitely, one needs to sympathise with Kasamu’s current predicament and several losses in respect of his vicious hold on the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party, particularly in Ogun State and the South West in general.
However, for the sake of some unsuspecting members of the public who might be persuaded to believe some of the outright lies and falsehood that Kasamu reeled out, same as he had been peddling over the years, I choose to set some records straight.
Perhaps some of the allegations raised in the latest press release, as in the past, may be considered on their merit if Kasamu has the moral standing to speak as a member of a sane and civilised society. Definitely, the allegations fail the moral test coming from someone who is still struggling with his personal identities. Nigerians may be interested in the narratives behind a television serial in the United States of America, “Orange is the New Black” to confirm if the personality who inspired the crime series is really worth listening to in the first place.
Several people are still interested in bridging the nexus between several names like Esho Jinadu, Musafau Sodipe, Kasmal etc. and the personality behind the name Buruji Kasamu. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/alleged-drug-kingpin-wanted-us-elected-senator-nigeria
I would have preferred that Senator Kasamu takes a visit to the United States of America, just for once, and probably now issue such press statement from there. This will give some measure of credibility to his personality, settle the issue and allegations of drug related offences on him, and also on his crises of identity. http://www.nairaland.com/2305076/going-us-like-jumping-into
To some of the lies raised in his press release. Kasamu had implied:“With the benefit of hindsight, several Chairmen of our party were either removed or resigned on their own volition as a result of EFCC cases” I strongly believe that it is irresponsible and in bad state that a senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party will pass such odious remarks on ALL past chairmen of the Party with implication on their moral standing on trumped up charges and political persecution. This could not be a complimentary statement to assist the image of the party. This confirms the generally held suspicion that Kasamu is an Agent Provocateur within the fold of the PDP, but working for and in the interests of the APC. That Otunba Daniel is equally facing similar persecutions on the strength of his political persuasions and convictions is not new to our politics; several leaders of our great country, including the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, President Olusegun Obasanjo and several PDP members and governors have traveled and still traveling that same route. The fact that they were accused does not yet pass a judgement of guilt on them because no court of competent jurisdiction has pronounced them so. Except of course, Kasamu has assumed the role of our learned judges.
It is also infantile that Kasamu will descend to such low, raising allegations bothering on crime, killing and maiming of citizens only on the pages of newspapers when as a Nigerian citizen he could have approached the law enforcement agencies to do their jobs. It is criminal complicity if a citizen know and have facts of a grave crime committed and concealed same for several years. Killing of “120 protesting” students (or any citizens for that matter) will be considered a genocide in any local, national or international statutes. Otunba Daniel was succeeded by one of the most hostile and highly vindictive personality in the history of succession in Nigeria, and several probe panels were instituted on such allegations which were largely promoted and sponsored from the self-confession of “over N3 billion” by Kasamu, and not one of the panels and courts returned a verdict of guilt.
For the records, Otunba Gbenga Daniel won his elections fairly and squarely in 2003; led the campaign for all PDP candidates in 2007 which did not only return him as Governor on the platform of the PDP, but also all 3 Senators, 9 House or Representatives and 26 House of Assembly members all of the PDP; he conducted three local government Council elections in between which also returned all PDP candidates. None of these was ever reversed at the election petition Tribunals which confirmed their proper conduct and compliance with electoral rules. He also supervised and campaigned for not only President Olusegun Obasanjo in Ogun State in 2003 and President Umar Musa Yar’Adua in 2007; he was also the South West Campaign Coordinator for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Architect Namadi Sambo in 2011 (he was never the Coordinator in the South West nor Ogun State for elections in 2015, he merely nominated people). If Kasamu has any records to the contrary and especially about infractions on any of the election processes and conduct, he should have assisted the law enforcement agencies with it rather than insulting the sensibilities of the public or trying to infer that PDP had always won elections by other means, which of course will include the process which threw him up as the Party’s candidate in 2015. I am of the opinion that PDP members in Ogun State know the political merchants, and those who got into politics for commercial reasons by selling the Party’s nomination tickets to more than one candidates during Party primaries.
It is also unthinkable that a man who confessed to spending over three billion naira (N3 billion) to ‘destroy’ the Otunba Gbenga Daniel led PDP administration in Ogun State will consider himself worthy of speaking about the PDP and expect to be taken serious. The party members have been asking the sane question for which no answer has been given over the years. “How much has Buruji Kasamu (a purported member of the PDP) spent to ‘destroy’ the APC led government in Ogun State and Nigeria?”
Instead, Kasamu has been the one who had used procured court judgements and the judiciary to hold down the advancement and progress of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last eight years.
Steve Oliyide is a journalist and public commentator, based in Ibadan, Oyo State. He writes via email@example.com.