It appears the death of the late Ogun East former Senator, Buruji Kashamu, is marking the beginning of another era of political infighting in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.
After the demise of Kashamu, many might have thought an end has come to the longtime rivalry between the factions in the Ogun State chapter of the PDP.
But, there are indications that there is going to be a relaunch of the factional crises in the party with the turn of events after the death of the late politician.
Kashamu, since 2014, had the control of the Ogun PDP ‘at his beck and call’. This was the time he broke up with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, after the duo succeeded in hijacking the PDP structure from former Governor, Gbenga Daniel; causing the then ruling party to lose the 2011 governorship election to Senator Ibikunle Amosun of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
It will be recalled that Kashamu contested and won the Ogun East Senatorial seat under the party in 2015.
In 2019, having fortified himself with court judgements against the Uche Secondus-led PDP National Working Committee, Kashamu, in spite of his purported expulsion from the party, contested the Ogun governorship election.
He became the PDP candidate, scuttling Hon. Oladimeji Adebutu’s chance of clinching the party’s ticket.
Adebutu, who was not pleased with the situation, adopted the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Hon. Adekunle Akinlade.
The PDP came fourth in the election as political observers in the state opined that Kashamu had no plans to win, saying he directed his loyalists across the state to vote for Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Few months before his death, Kashamu and Adebutu renewed their rivalry as the two groups went ahead to conduct party congresses to appoint new state executive officers of the party.
Before the congresses, the Kashamu faction suffered a setback when the former State Chairman of the PDP, Engr Bayo Dayo, deserted him alongside some other state executive members of the party, to align with Adebutu.
With the congresses held, the Ogun PDP has two parallel state executives. While Sikirulahi Ogundele is the Chairman of the Ladi Adebutu faction, enjoying the support of the NWC; Samson Bamgbose is the Chairman of late Buruji’s camp.
No sooner had he been buried than news broke out that the late Senator had asked former Governor, Gbenga Daniel to take over his political structure in Ogun.
While many are still doubting the authenticity of the information, Daniel himself confirmed that the deceased truly sent him a delegation on the matter.
It will be recalled that Daniel, in March 2019, resigned from the PDP through a letter he sent to the party’s National Chairman, Secondus. He also announced his retirement from partisan politics.
Daniel, it was gathered, told his followers to support Dapo Abiodun for the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state.
DAILY POST reports that loyalists of Daniel, led by former Deputy Governor, Salmot Badru, have since defected to the Governor Abiodun’s faction of the APC.
In Ogun State today, many are anxiously waiting to see whether or not Daniel will agree to fill the leadership position vacated by Kashamu.
While still waiting, Sikirulahi Ogundele has said that Daniel is no longer a member of the PDP, wondering how someone who has resigned from the party could lead a faction of it.
According to Ogundele, Daniel needs to rejoin the party through his ward if he must be described as a member of same.
But, the Kashamu faction said the former Governor had accepted to lead the group, even when Daniel himself is yet to release a statement to that effect.
Olasunkanmi Oyejide, the faction’s Publicity Secretary, spoke on an Abeokuta radio station that the group met with Daniel and he had agreed to be their new leader.
Meanwhile, a video has surfaced on the social media, wherein Chief Kensington Adebutu, father of Hon. Oladimeji Adebutu, was seen receiving a call from the late Kashamu.
In the video, Kashamu was heard begging Adebutu for forgiveness over anything he might have done to offend him.
DAILY POST reports that close associates of the former Senator confirmed that the video was made while he was on his sick bed, shortly before his death.
Speaking in Yoruba, Kashamu was heard, making a vow that he would support the Odole Odua’s son, Oladimeji Adebutu, to become governor in Ogun State.
He also promised to withdraw all cases he filed against the lotto magnate from court.
The video has been generating mixed reactions from Ogun indigenes as many wonder why Kashamu would ask Daniel to lead his faction when he has already promised to support Chief Adebutu’s son for governor.
Speaking on the video, an Ogun State indigene, Ademola Oloko said: “By now, PDP should come together and make the wish of Buruji come true. He promised to work with Adebutu and also to settle all the grievances concerning his business deals with the family.
“To me, Daniel taking over is a plus to APC because deep down in his heart, he will still want the incumbent to spend second term in office considering what transpired in the last election. His directives to PDP members to vote for APC and the nonchalant attitude of late Buruji to play active politics caused PDP to come fourth in the last election.
“2023 is around the corner and OGD did not have the financial chest to bear the party expenses. Buruji has spoken to support Ladi Adebutu, his followers should do the same. The purpose of releasing the video is to counter the claim of OGD that Buruji had plans to hand over his structure to him.
“Now OGD has no evidence to prove the claim while Lado has the evidence to support the peace move between the two political gladiators of PDP.”
(Source: Daily Post)