The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has lashed out at Buruji Kashamu, the Senator-elect of Ogun East Senatorial District for describing him as his role model.
In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Tinubu called on the senator-elect to liken himself to Bode George and President Goodluck Jonathan, both members of his party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
“Kashamu may be prodigal but he is no political son of Tinubu,” Mr. Tinubu said in a statement signed by Sunday Dare, his media adviser.
“Kashamu’s political lineage tracks to people like Bode George and President Jonathan. He should direct his encomiums to these men who are his true role models. They need his contrived affections more than Tinubu does.”
Last week, Mr. Kashamu had paid a rare tribute to the APC leader describing him as the architect of modern Nigeria and a man who made history by leading opposition party to grab power at the centre.
“Truth be told, men like you are made up of sterner stuff and are rare to come by in every generation. Little wonder you are called the Asiwaju and Jagaban of Borgu. I doff my hat,” Mr. Kashamu wrote in an open letter addressed to Mr. Tinubu.
“I hope that in spite of our membership of different political platforms, we would be able to collaborate for the upliftment of Yorubaland in particular and Nigeria as a whole.”
But in his response on Tuesday, Mr. Tinubu told the Senator-elect, who served as the Chairman of the South-West PDP Organization and Mobilisation Committee to “stop this cynical fawning,” noting that “it will not work.”
“The days of false adulation are gone in Nigerian politics. Fake praise singers like Kashamu will find that their particular craft is no longer in vogue. During this election cycle, their practice has dramatically turned from the way things are to how things used to be,” said Mr. Tinubu.
“Henceforth, there will be consequences for the positions a politician takes and the words they utter.
“Politicians will no longer be able to change direction and loyalties as if they were changing clothes. Those in politics must know that responsibility and accountability shall now follow them. One can no longer walk both sides of the street at the same time. In case Kashamu has not noticed, the politics of principle defeated the politics of posturing.”
Despite his victory at the March 28 election, over the past few days, Mr. Kashamu has cut the figure of a desperate man frantically waving an olive branch at his opponents.
Also, last week, the senator-elect had sent an SOS to the National Human Rights Commission, accusing former President Olusegun Obasanjo of instigating U.S. security agencies to apprehend him and ship him to the States.
The incoming law maker faced drug related charges in the U.S. before he fled to the U.K. where repeated efforts by American officials to extradite him failed, before he returned to Nigeria.
Mr. Kashamu and 14 others were, in 1998, charged by a federal grand jury in the U.S. for their alleged involvement in an international conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the U.S.
But the suspect had continually denied involvement in drug business, insisting it was a case of mistaken identity.
But his refusal to travel to the U.S. to clear himself of the indictments had angered his critics, including Mr. Obasanjo who left the PDP due to what he termed the party’s continued treatment of Mr. Kashamu with reverence.
Mr. Tinubu accused Mr. Kashamu of undermining the democratic process by “buying his victory,” adding that he is merely an isolated vestige of a dying past.
“For him to liken himself to Bola Tinubu is for a small rut to call itself a mountain. For Kashamu to call Tinubu a role model is Kashamu‘s admission that he does not know the meaning of the term. There are no grounds for comparison. There is only contrast. Tinubu has sacrificed years trying to bring democracy to Nigeria. He struggled in opposition to the powers that be.
“Without this, at times, lonesome fight and singular determination, the great change in Nigerian politics would not have happened as it did. Tinubu is an architect of democracy. Kashamu is a failed demolisher of that which Tinubu has strived to build. Under Kashamu’s designs, our elections would be a wholly mercantile undertaking.
“Meanwhile, Kashamu has blown wherever the prevailing winds took him. He stood for nothing and sacrificed nothing except the people’s welfare.”
Mr. Tinubu further described Mr. Kashamu as a man “knocking on the wrong door at the wrong house at the wrong time.”
“This same Kashamu rained insults on former President Obasanjo in a vicious campaign of calumny. Kashamu’s party, PDP sponsored defamatory documentaries full of lies and innuendos against me, General Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of APC,” he said.
“Please keep your peace until you make your trip to the USA as a Senator elect. Upon your return we can then have a conversation. We can then proceed with your repudiation of the PDP with a promise that you will stop corrupting and fouling the political system.
“That Kashamu would deign to compare himself with Tinubu is a distasteful insult to Tinubu and to anyone who knows Nigerian politics. If he has any sense of propriety, Kashamu should retract the corrupt missive and apologize for this latest lie to the public.”