By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Senator Buruji Kashamu (PDP, Ogun East) has said it would amount to “a monumental disaster” if former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is elected National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 9 convention.
Reacting to Daniel’s official declaration to contest the position, the lawmaker said Daniel was the least qualified among those aspiring for the post.
“When I heard that he was vying for the post, my initial reaction was that it was a joke. But, now that he has decided to make a formal declaration, I would say it is a joke taken too far. Let me say with all sense of responsibility that Daniel does not have what it takes to lead our great party. He is the least qualified among all those vying for the position.
“All his claims of having managed and won elections are unfounded. He never won any election. The elections he claimed to have won were in the better forgotten days of Prof. Maurice Iwu’s INEC. Since then, he has never won any other elections. In 2011, he defected from the PDP to the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) and then Labour Party (LP) where he lost woefully. Even the 2016 local government election in Ogun State which he supervised with one of his stooges and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, it was failure all the way.
“Towards the end of 2014, he returned to PDP ahead of the 2015 elections. He was made to head the 2015 Presidential Campaign in Ogun State which the party lost abysmally owing to his mismanagement of campaign funds. He was one of the major reasons our party lost in the South West and Ogun State in particular. It is common knowledge in Ogun State that over N300 million of the funds are yet to be accounted for and the case is currently with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). How can we allow our beloved party to be led by an unstable character like Daniel?
“Before he became the governor of Ogun State, he had two houses. But at the end of his eight year tenure, he cornered several public properties which are now subject of litigation between him and the EFCC. Clearly, this man lacks the right to speak about corruption and how it should be tackled. You cannot give what you don’t have.
“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. So, how can we entrust the leadership of our party – an opposition party – into the hands of man who has a pending EFCC case?” the statement read in part.
Kashamu also added: “As at today, it is common knowledge in Ogun State that Daniel has two governorship candidates that he is milking: one in PDP and the other in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is doing this for money. He is flat broke and looking for money to rehabilitate himself. He is the biggest ticket racketeer I have ever seen.”
He further warned party leaders and faithful not to make the error of making Daniel the party chair, saying “it would be the beginning of the end of our great party. This is a man whose reign as governor in Ogun State was synonymous with cultism, violence and politically-motivated killings. How can our beloved party be handed to a man whose memories the good people of Ogun State are in a hurry to forget? For instance, the security agencies are still investigating how over 120 protesting students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) were murdered in cold blood and secretly buried during his administration.
“His former Commissioner for Agriculture, Waliu Taiwo and Chief Press Secretary, Wale Adedayo have told the whole world that he had “a killer squad” that he used to decimate perceived political opponents. Adedayo even wrote a book entitled “Micro Seconds Away from Death” wherein he chronicled some of the heinous crimes perpetrated by Daniel as Governor of Ogun State, including an assassination attempt on him (Mr. Wale Adedayo). The book is a public document. He is an infidel and a serial betrayer who does not have value for human life.
“Little wonder the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka described him as ‘Dani, elebo’ (meaning Dani, the fetish one). He went on to say, ‘This governor lied and lied and lied until he lied his head off’.
“Recall how his governor colleagues rejected him as Chairman of the Governors’ Forum in 2010 when he sought to upstage the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Chairman of the group.”