Will Buhari risk all for Kashamu?

WITH the current political activities of Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun East senatorial district, it will be understandable if the government of the day, which he should ordinarily be an opposition to, views him with “pleasure eyes.” There have been unauthorised reports of a recent meeting between him and the national leadership of the ruling APC, where an alleged decampment-for-pardon deal was said to have been worked out for him over the deportation tango with the United States of America.

The unconfirmed report claimed the embattled senator decided to settle for “staying inside PDP to wreck it further to help APC.” None of the parties mentioned in the said reports denied the report, which should ordinarily be an expected response to such “stories.”

Even if the story is discounted for veracity sake, the discerning can see that Kashamu’s activities aren’t benefitting his supposed own. If, indeed, there was an accord between the ruling party and the opposition senator, the most sensible and profitable arrangement would be to leave him bulldozing PDP from the inside, which is the clinical way of ruinously collapsing a building down to the foundation, regardless of its fortification.

With his financial and fighting capacity mainly sustaining the leadership crisis in his party, the door of the former ruling party is ajar for elected defectors to join the new order without losing any political capital. Of what use is a house not manned by the able-bodied?  He is also doing well on the other major front of tackling the ruling party’s nemesis, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. If he stays in PDP till 2018, he could help APC to snatch the state back from its sweetheart. It is one assignment Kashamu would pay to run for anyone, considering his hatred for Fayose.

I only see two problems here. First, Kashamu may not come out of the crumbling PDP edifice unscathed and if he decided to stay inside to uproot it from the foundation, he may come out not too useful again for the demolition agenda.

Two, a stone thrower should be careful especially when the other end is eerily silent. Unguided consistent jabs at the opponent could open the puncher to a killer-punch. Kashamu has almost become the ruling party’s attack-dog. Will his new friends trust him enough when he finally berths in their midst, considering that politics is always about conflicts? Won’t they see him as unmanageable, despite all his strength and staying power? Will Kashamu, a leader in his own right, be ready for fresh tutelage?

I testify it is comforting having Kashamu an ally. I saw first-hand the way he fuzzed over Fayose as governor-elect. Something must have crushed between the two hitherto buddies beyond Ali Modu Sheriff’s ill-conceived presidential nonsense. How could a character like Sheriff look Naija finish and had a nightmare of leading it. Tufiakwa! Not my president.

From the moment APC was declared the winner of 2015 election, Kashamu has not hidden his desire to be jolly-jolly with the new men-of-power. Interestingly, nearly everybody could see through his sole reason, which isn’t either pecuniary or political stamina. Without doubt, he breathes wealth. His political footing is also sure. He is a great grassroots mobiliser. He is structured, physically, materially, politically, to win. But he isn’t winning the US heckling over the age-long alleged drug peddling saga and he appears ready to give all for the Americans to give up on him.

When he was credited with a threat to kill before anyone would abduct and extradite him to USA and his subsequent denial of same, I knew which to believe. I had sat with him fuming over the issue. When you are pushed to the wall, moments of indiscretion are very likely. The latest ruling in America, which pushes him closer to a forced trip for a foreign trial, obviously pushed him to the wall. Then, the reports surfaced of the alleged meeting and an assurance by President Muhammadu Buhari’s top men that Donald Trump and his judiciary would only huff, because the current administration would provide a safe haven for the senator as long as he is a “good boy.” It was also claimed that Buhari’s administration would explore the perceived negative disposition of President Trump to the current administration, to say no, despite the binding legal extradition treaty between America and Nigeria. Really?

But frankly speaking, why is Kashamu afraid of trial if he is sure of his innocence, instead of allowing the legal tango to drag for all the 19 years and getting messier at every turn? Yoruba will say “eni ti o ba sa ibo ti kii beru ojo (You won’t be afraid of rains soaking beer seedlings if you spread none outside). Is he possibly reading the perceived America’s over-interestedness in the case as bias and the likelihood of not getting justice? Does he have intelligence reports that the rest of us don’t have that make his refusal correct and compelling?

Kashamu has consistently fingered President Olusegun Obasanjo as his nightmare. OBJ may be influential in America, but those guys don’t like being dictated to. Even if OBJ is the piper, Kashamu has a golden opportunity now to shame his kinsman once and for all, by taking the advice of Folake Marcus-Bello, his kinswoman, to take the next available jolly flight to America instead of the disgrace of extradition or worse still, abduction.

Without doubt, NDLEA has shown serious commitment to giving effect to the extradition agreement with the US, but the Commander-in-Chief obviously has the final say.

The poser is if Buhari will risk all bilateral benefits between Nigeria and America for political expediency? You want to ask if Kashamu is worth all likely troubles from Donald Trump. This isn’t the time to further strain the strained bilateral relationship.