By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA-Chairman, Mobilisation and Organisation committee of the PDP in South West, Prince Buruji Kashamu has faulted the claim by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that he has been indicted as a drug Baron in America as a cocktail of lies.
Kashamu was reacting to Obasanjo’s response to the pleas by some leaders of the party seeking his forgiveness.
According to Kashamu, Obasanjo said I am “one of the many issues” that he had pointed out and still pointing out. Although he did not state what the other “many issues” were, he made a heavy weather out of my purported indictment over some drug-related offences.
“First, his statement is yet another cocktail of lies served with his legendary deceit as shall be shown shortly. He said he was displeased at my allegedly being made the leader of the party in the South West. First, it should be noted that as against his earlier assertion that I am “a wanted habitual criminal…for whom extradition has been requested by the US Government…”, he has now described me “as an indicted drug baron wanted in America”.
” The indubitable fact of history that Baba Obasanjo has not told the world is that it was during his first tenure as President that he and former Beninoise President Matthew Kerekou directed the relevant security agencies to give truthful evidence that exonerated me.
” That was why the Interpol in Nigeria and Benin Republic as well as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) came to the London courts in 2000/2001 to give evidence during my incarceration and trial. That also explained why when I returned I became his associate.
“He used me to prosecute his battle against former Governor Gbenga Daniel. When it was time to field candidates for the 2011 general elections, he brought his stooge, Gen. Adetunji Olurin, and asked me to roll the party structure behind his anointed candidate. In his usual holier-than-thou manner, he talked about not being able to work with me because of his principles, honour and integrity.
“But the questions Nigerians should ask him are: where were his principles when he used to take me into the inner recesses of his abode? Where was his honour when he served me breakfast, lunch and dinner in his Hilltop mansion? Where was his integrity 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! Despite his pretensions, the reason 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. He is against the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan and he had wanted to use the erstwhile National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; the former National Auditor, Bode Mustapha and the ex-National Vice-Chairman, Segun Oni, to thwart Mr. President’s re-election.
“The almighty Allah Subhana wa tala used me to stand up to him and the rest is history. Before his very eyes the PDP in the South West is on a rebound and we are winning elections free and square unlike what obtained during his reign when contrived electoral victories were being easily upturned.
“Despite working for the All Progressives Congress (APC) which he had ordered his followers to join, the PDP is waxing stronger in the zone. Contrary to Obasanjo’s claim, I am just one of the leaders of the party in the South West. I am 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 South West PDP.
“The party in the zone has not been handed over to anyone but to its relevant organs and structures. It is indeed preposterous for anyone to call me the leader of the party in a zone that parades political juggernauts like Governor-Elect Ayo Fayose, Chief Olabode George, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, Senator Lekan Balogun, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Teslim Folarin, Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo, Senator Clement Awoyelu, Senator Bode Olajumoke and a host of others.
” Now, on the issue of my so-called indictment in the United States, I wish to state for the umpteenth time that I am not wanted by anyone. Even if that were the case, there are processes and procedures to follow, and they are not subject to anyone’s whims and caprices, not even Obasanjo’s because no man is God.
“As I have continually stated, I have never in stepped my feet into the U.S neither do I have any business there. I was wrongly accused, arrested, tried and freed over the same indictment. Indeed, my arrest, detention and trial were at its behest and the U.S Authorities fully participated in the whole extradition proceedings. If after a full trial on the basis of the same indictment, the British courts exonerated me, which other indictment is Obasanjo talking about? What happens to the general principle of International Law on double-jeopardy? It is commonsensical that even without any judicial pronouncement the indictment is technically dead.
“I cannot be tried by the same parties over the same issues again. While I would do a more detailed response to Obasanjo’s relentless tirades against me in due course; it is high time he retraced his misguided steps. He should borrow a leaf from a time–tested Yoruba proverb which says those who dance naked with glee in the night would have themselves exposed to shame when the morning comes.
“Although he is seen as Goliath, I would triumph over him the same way the almighty Allah Subhana wa tala used me in rescuing the party from his vice-grip in Ogun State, in particular and the South West, in general”, he said .