By Sarah Aigbe
Prince Buruji Kashamu, a chieftain of the PDP denied Obasanjo’s allegations that he was a drug dealer and alleged that he worked for and hobnobbed with the former president.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, Kashamu maintained that Chief Obasanjo used him to reclaim the PDP machinery from former governor of OgunState, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Faulting Obasanjo’s claims, he said: “In the 18-page letter, Obasanjo said, ‘how can the presidency be working with me?’ It is not the fault of Obasanjo. Obasanjo was my partner in 2010 and in 2011. It was obvious to everybody that I was working for Obasanjo, he was using me to fight Gbenga Daniel. Daniel had already disgraced Obasanjo in Ogun State. I was the one that risked my life for Obasanjo and I spent over N3 billion before I could take over the control of the PDP in OgunState.
I took back the party machinery from Daniel and returned it to Obasanjo. It was also Obasanjo who introduced General Olurin to me and asked me to work with him to win the 2011 governorship elections in OgunState. But I told Obasanjo that Olurin was an old man and that we could not win the elections. He said, ‘my son, my partner, go and work with him.’ Everybody is aware of this. Then, I and Iyabo worked together.”
He said: “I dined with Obasanjo in his house over 30 times, I have entered Obasanjo’s bedroom, living room and also his office. Obasanjo was the one that introduced me during the South-West meeting of the PDP held in his house to the Minister for Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, Akala, Segun Oni and many other leaders.
He was telling them to thank me that I assisted him in fighting Gbenga Daniel to a stand still. Obasanjo was my partner. I spent over N3 billion to return the PDP structure in Ogun state to him. It was also Obasanjo that introduced me to the National Working Committee of the PDP then.”
In addition, he disclosed that Obasanjo “introduced me to Baraje. Obasanjo was the one that took me to the Presidency and said I was the one fighting on his behalf in the South-West and that I was the one mobilizing for him in the South-West and that with me, we can deliver the South-West for the PDP. Baraje is alive.
During our crisis, the president instructed the party to resolve the problem between myself and Obasanjo and it was Baraje that called for a meeting at Hilton Hotel between Obasanjo and I. The reconciliation meeting lasted for about two hours and at the end of the meeting, Obasanjo went ahead to create another parallel PDP in OgunState.”
A bitter Kashamu threatened to mention names of members of Obasanjo’s government and associates he alleged were drug dealers.
“So, how can Obasanjo turn around and say that I am a drug dealer? When he was using me, he did not know me as a drug dealer. When Obasanjo was in government, almost 60 percent, including some former governors and former Senators that surrounded Obasanjo were all drug dealers. When the time comes, their names will be mentioned,” he said.
Exonerating himself, he said: “I am a clean businessman. When they said I committed the offence they are talking about, I was the richest person in BeninRepublic. What is my business with dealing in drugs? I have always been a businessman and I have over 800 people working for me both in Nigeria and in Benin Republic. I do not know anything of this allegation leveled against me.
“I was arrested, I won the case in a London court where they said it was mistaken identity. I returned to Nigeria to continue with my business before I joined politics. I went for interpretation of the judgment I won in London and at the end of the case, I got a clean slate. I am not a drug dealer, I am a business man and so, whatsoever Obasanjo is saying, is cheap blackmail.”