A former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, has criticised a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, over his comment on Buruji Kashamu‘s death.
By Alfred Olufemi
Mr Kashamu, a former Ogun senator and Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, died Saturday at the First Cardiology Consultants Hospital in Lagos.
His friend and former colleague at the Senate, Ben Murray-Bruce, confirmed that he was hospitalised at the facility after contracting COVID-19.
Mr Kashamu was the founder of Western Lotto Limited, one of Nigeria’s lottery operators.
He served as the senator representing Ogun East in the eighth National Assembly and for years was wanted in the United States for alleged drug offenses. He had denied wrongdoing.
Mr Obasanjo on Saturday condoled with the Ogun State Government over the demise of the businessman.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson Kehinde Akinyemi, Mr Obasanjo said while Mr Kashamu’s death was “sad, his life and history left lessons for those of us on this side of the veil.”
“Senator Buruji Kashamu in his lifetime used the maneuver of law and politics to escape from facing justice on alleged criminal offences in Nigeria and outside Nigeria,” Mr Obasanjo said.
Reacting to the statement, Mr Fayose, in his condolence message posted on Twitter, condemned the former president’s comment, saying it is regrettable.
“I also condemn the statement made by former President Obasanjo on his (Kashamu) death.
It is regrettable that Obasanjo could say what he said about Buruji Kashamu after his death and when he can no longer question him. Why didn’t he say that when Kashamu was alive?” he said.
He further asked if Mr Obasanjo “can say in good conscience that he did not at some point collaborated with Kashamu and most of the things he (Kashamu) did politically were not with his collaboration?”
The feud between Messrs Obasanjo and Kashamu over the leadership of the PDP in the South West was quite pronounced in 2013 when Mr Obasanjo criticised the PDP leadership for retaining Mr. Kashamu as a leader of the party in the region.
He described the deceased as a drug baron who will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Kashamu filed a N20 billion libel suit against the former president, which he did not withdraw until 2015.