The Ogun state Peoples Democratic Party under the leadership of Engr. Bayo Dayo, who is loyal to businessman, Buruji kashamu, is in a deep mess at the moment.
The crisis which is currently threatening to tear the party into pieces, according to insiders is being caused by the high-handedness and deceitful character of Kashamu. Top among the issues that generated the latest crisis was the decision by Kashamu to dump Hon. Kayode Amusan as the group’s gubernatorial candidate for the party in the forthcoming 2015 elections. The development happened at the Ijebu-Igbo home of the party financier on Sunday 8th December where he openly castigated and disowned Amusan as being incapable, disoyal and too stingy to be entrusted with the party’s mandate.
This accussation came as rude shock to Amusan who up till few weeks ago enjoyed robust relationship with Kashamu and equally supported the party financially.
However, insider information reveals that what really caused the rift was Amusan’s refusal to swear to an oath of allegiance to Buruji. It was said that Amusan also found Kashamu’ s incessant financial demands to be outrageous and insane. It was also reliably gathered that Amusan refused to sign an agreement of a monthly payment of N500million Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) to Kashamu should Amusan emerge the governor. This reportedly got the billionaire angry as he announced another aspirant, Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele as the preferred choice of the group. This did not go down well with Amusan who then vowed to his supporters to pursue his ambition to its full course, with or without the support of Kashamu.
The crisis has further divided the group along the lines of pro-kashamu and pro-Amusan camps. The unfolding scenario is a replay of what happened in 2011 when Kashamu sold tickets, swindled aspirants and corruptly enriched himself. It would be recalled that Buruji collected $1million from Former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole for the House of Representatives ticket of Abeokuta South which had earlier been won by one Hon. Segun Alawode (a one-time commissioner in Ogun state). It was also alleged that Kashamu swindled Hon. Dave Salako, Sen. Lekan Mustapha and Muyideen Adegboyega (MASA); giving their mandates to other persons he got huge millions of naira from.
Meanwhile, the crisis has consumed the party’s state Vice Chairman, Chief Soledolu, a loyalist of Amusan. He has been replaced with Hon. Leye Odunjo, a former House of Assembly member in Ogun State. It is this insincere, deceptive, manipulative and corrupt antecedents that is actually scarring away other factions of the party that believe the business mogul is too shady and dangerous to work with. We also gathered that Buruji Kashamu has ordered the state executives to stop receiving the N500, 000 monthly subvention which Amusan gives the party as support fund. While solution is not yet in sight, the hitherto cohesive group is in disaray and accusing fingers are all pointed in the direction of Buruji.
While all these subsist Kashamu is fighting to stave off an impending arrest and possible extradition to the US to answer charges of narcotic crimes. This followed the recent judgement of a Federal High Court which granted the government leave to release the businessman to the US authorities should they eventually request him.
Kashamu on the other hand has swiftly rebuffed his possible extradition as a ruse and had even gone ahead to sue (for N20billion), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, whose AIT television station repeatedly relayed the story. kashamu described it as the handwork of his detractors, but those opposed to him beleive, the moneybag could be in jail by the time of the elections.
What further reinforced this belief is contained in ex President Obasanjo’ s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, where he labelled Kashamu a criminal and drug baron who still has answers to give the US authorities over his illicit involvement in international cartel that specialises in the trade of heroin and cocaine. It will be recalled that while a UK court might have discharged Kashamu over the drug case, the US authorities reviewed his case and the presiding Judge, Justice Richard Posner concluded that, “while Kashamu’s identity remains murky, there is little doubt that the man now exercising authority in Nigeria’s PDP, is the same as Kashamu the ‘Alaji’ who was indicted for conspiracy to smuggle illicit drugs into the United States”.
For all of the above, it remains to be seen how the embattled moneybag will swim out of the murky waters he currently finds himself.