Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Obasanjo and Kashamu: And South-west Politics

We hope this is not a case of he said and he said. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has "suspended" his membership from the country's governing party, PDP until it gets rid of a top financier wanted in the U.S. for alleged drug trafficking. This political bombshell in the run up to 2015 presidential elections comes in a letter dated Jan. 7 and leaked to reporters Saturday Jan 11.
Obasanjo and Kashamu
Obasanjo cites the elevation to regional party chief of Buruji Kashamu, "a wanted habitual criminal" whose extradition has been requested by the U.S.
Mr. Kashamu has said the 2009 indictment is a case of mistaken identity and refers to his deceased brother as the culprit.
While the threat to leave PDP may not be as important to the party, the allegation that the US has requested an extradition of Mr. Buruji is a different story.  We want to know the validity of the allegation made by OBJ.  It is as easy as picking up the phone and contact the US Embassy in Nigeria or US Department of Justice. 
It is interesting to know that the same Mr. Buruji was OBJ's right hand man in the good old days during his presidency.  Mr. Buruji worked for OBJ as his 'hatchet-man' in the local politics between 1999-2007 while the later occupied Nigeria highest office. OBJ used this man and discarded him.  It is noteworthy also that all the allegations of drug trafficking and extradition happened when OBJ was the president and he, Mr. Kashamu was his  right-hand man in South-west politics.  How Mr. Kashamu escaped prosecution from the UK and US during those periods need to be investigated.

Although, Mr. Kashamu has vehemently denied these allegations, we want PDP and President Jonathan to look into these new allegations by OBJ for their validity.  If there is any shred of truth, Mr. Buruji must vacate his office in PDP and take time off to clear these allegations.

Center for Modern Nigeria will continue to monitor the development of this case as we move forward. 


  1. We now know that there is an outstanding warrant related to a drug issue for Mr Kashamu in the US. Outstanding warrant is not the same as extradition request as OBJ claimed. However, it is troubling that Mr. Kashamu's name is involved in this type of legal issue. Although, Mr. Kashamu has claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity and that the same issue arose in the UK and he was cleared. Let Mr. Kashamu vacate his current political post to clear his name. It is easy. Outstanding warrant can be cleared quickly if one is not guilty. Issuance of warrant is common in the US and other civilized world. Let us make it clear that this case is not an extradition issue as OBJ claimed.

  2. Mr. Kashamu has no business running a political campaign in Nigeria at this time. He needs to clear all outstanding issues related to the arrest warrant in the US. We call on Mr. Kashamu to vacate his post at PDP for the sake of integrity.