It would have been a misnomer for anyone named Buruji not to at least live above poverty line. The name is Yoruba’s anecdote for turning the corner of want. It is always used to signal the coming into affluence. The only negativity is the can’t-you-see connotation. Something close to a suddenness of wealth, even if explicable, better-not-said. I have met Senator BurujiKashamu, representing Ogun East twice. My opinion of his person will be a best-kept possession. You can bet it isn’t anywhere near what his political enemies and social media antagonists, think. I may not also be as generous as his political associates, constituents and friends are in their reverence. I will also stay with the known stories about his commerce and thrash the behind-the-curtain murmurs of the untoward. As much as I care, Kashamu is a successful businessman, with luggage of cash and the usual baggage of high-wired buying and selling.
His politics, which can be said to be less cloudy than his commerce, is the focus here. Let me quickly give a warning here to the current political associates of the Senator who are still thinking minimal of his politics understanding, seeing him only as an electoral mule. To his credit, he has proved his mettle against two old buddies and the credits of the contest, were loaded in his favour.
I met him the first time, euphorically, hosting Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and senior journalists at his Victoria Island hotel. It was a fairly large gathering and immediately the session with the then governor-elect began, Kashamu’s bulky frame disappeared completely, though he was evidently the “host.” That suggested something to me about his politics.
The second time was a restricted affair. A few senior journalists with him in one of the inner recesses of the hotel. It was the height of Olusegun Obasanjo’s determined efforts to help him shed weight in an American prison over the alleged drug ding-dong. Presidential election had been won and lost. There is the saying of a wiseman always counting his fingers to see if any should be bent differently. He went after Obasanjo at the parley, threatening to mention names in the former president’s dalliances when they were bestie, who are still legally answering some men’s names. I remember subtly cautioning him not to set cauldron on fire at homes where marriages are still thought to be blissful. I guess he heeded because he never filed the mass divorce-prone litigation. That also said something to me about his politics.
What really do politicians do together as friends that makes their enmity so smoking? I guess we won’t really get to know, beyond what they say in the open. Given Kashamu’s involvement in the resurgence of PDP in the South-West after weaning himself off Obasanjo’s suffocating politics, it would be eighth wonder if he wasn’t one of Fayose’s major sponsors for the 2014 election. If nothing at all, the chummy-yummy relationship immediately after the poll which I witnessed, suggested kind gestures here and there.
Kashamu and Fayose as soul-mates were also credited with resurrecting Ali Modu Sheriff. A quick word for Kashamu here. A “born-again” nationalist like he projected in his recent media assault against Fayose, should not be carrying a Sheriff banner. Even a kind-hearted Joseph of Arimethia won’t touch Sheriff’s cross.
Since Fayose and Sheriff parted way, he has bludgeoned the governor even more than his adversary in government, gradually moving towards the fine-line he threatened to cross with Obasanjo, though this time, more of financial illicitness. He has been dubbed opportunistic, allegedly running Buhari’s administration’s errand against his own party man, to earn seasonal reprieve (at least until Buhari is out) from the extradition harassment, considering Fayose as Buhari’s harshest critic.
If you add the misadvised praise he heaped on Bola Tinubu, in the wake of APC’s victory for which he was embarrassingly repudiated by the honoured, his politics could as well fit into the excoriating pejorative. He could be defenceless on it, if his sustained and rabid defence of Buhari’s wobbly leading is topped the assumptions.
But I see more of survival politics, common with all politicians, including Buhari. I have heard his supporters say he deliberately dined with the corrupt to be elected to deal with them. Where now is the dealing with them? By just denying their stooges appointments or rumbling against party renegades? Buhari’s, was just politics of desperation, full stop.
So, why can’t Kashamu imitate him? Why not even Fayose as alleged by his erstwhile friend who should know him? Why not the decamping folks, at least to escape Magu’smagun (thunderbolt)? Why not Sheriff, even as anyone’s destabilising agent? The morality line is tainted from top, down.
Whatever one may think of Kashamu’s politics, it isn’t mutually exclusive of the national brand that has remained very disappointing, with individual idiosyncrasies marking one player slightly different from the other. No ideological content. Politics of stomach for the needy, of put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is, for the loaded, always pushing for protectionism. Nothing suggests a change soon. The populace also seem to be getting by with it. So we all live with it. But it won’t sustain us for too long. There will always be the breaking point. It came for UK with Brexit. I strongly hold it will come for USA with Trump White House in November. People might appear to be cool with a discomforting note of a song sang too often to have lost its melody. Then one day…
You want to know my opinion of Kashamu’s politics. I think he is a devoted ally when not scorned. He also seems to have a kiss-and-tell DNA. It is always better to either never be with his ilk, or be, and remain in their good book forever.