– Fayose is cancerous to PDP, says Kashamu
The lawmaker representing Ogun East senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu, in this interview, airs his views on the just concluded Ekiti State governorship election and other issues. Excerpts.
You have been very quiet lately. What is responsible for this?
Someone once said it is only a foolish man that will talk even when he does not have anything to say. But the wise speak only when they have something to say. So, that would be my answer to your question. I only speak when it is necessary to do so.
How would you react to your party, the PDP’s loss of Ekiti State in the recently conducted governorship election?
I have maintained a dignified silence over the election because I didn’t want to be accused of being hasty or vindictive over the development. But, the truth is: it was an evil foretold. I saw it coming. I was not the least surprised at the outcome. How would the PDP have won when the former interim Caretaker Chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, allowed him to marginalise and consequently drive away other stakeholders of the party in Ekiti State and the whole of the South West? It is interesting to see someone like Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who accused the rest of us who were opposed to Fayose as working for the APC at the height of the national leadership crisis of the PDP, in the same APC. He could not endure the same hemlock of imposition and impunity that they were forcing down the throats of others. Makarfi and others encouraged Fayose to perpetrate all manner of illegalities, and the Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC inherited him and never really did anything to rein him in. They were sold the lies that he could do it all alone. I am sure they know better now that our party has lost the only state it controls in the South West as a result of Fayose’s arrogance and self-conceitedness. Fayose carried himself like the Lord of the Manor instead of becoming the rallying point for all major stakeholders throughout the Southwest. Shortly after he was elected, Fayose became power drunk. He forgot where he was coming from and allowed the perks and privileges of office to get into his head. He was consumed by pride and began a hot pursuit of an unbridled ambition. I hate to say some of these things. But, I must say some of them, being the truth, so that others can learn and draw useful lessons. This was a guy who had gone from glory to ground zero. Upon his return to the PDP after his failed senatorial attempt in the Labour Party (LP), he had no money. He could not even pay his ticket to Abuja the day he was brought to me. He came and begged me to help him. He prostrated and held my leg. The almighty Allah is my witness along some of my close associates who were privy to this account on his first visit to my place, I pitied him and gave him some good money on that fateful day. Since then, I began to spend on him until he became governor. As of consequence, I was not his friend per se but his benefactor and leader.
But after becoming governor, he became proud. His usually lines were “I am telling you I am more than popular. I am with my people. I have said it severally; I am the first and only Ekiti son to win and defeat two incumbents at two different attempts. I am the first Ekiti son to become governor twice. I am going to be the first Ekiti son to install a successor. I am a big boy ooo. No man born of a woman can overcome me. I am Peter the Rock. When you fall on the rock, you break your backbone. When the rock falls on you, you would become ashes…”. Interestingly, we have all seen how the dynamite in Dr. Kayode Fayemi has shattered the “egocentric rock” !
Unless and until the PDP starts to field contented Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their businesses or careers, the government of the day will continue to beam its searchlight on these mediocre opportunists that enriched themselves through public office with accompanying grave political repercussions on the PDP. Given his unimpeachable integrity as an individual, President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to ride high on the horse of morality and become more politically advantageous over them. It is baffling how a corrupt fellow would steal and use braggadocio to rub it in the face of the Nigerian people and government that they cannot do anything to him. That is why I support the government’s anti-corruption fight.
Upon becoming governor, he would not go to meetings of the National Council of State. He equated himself with the President and ruled Ekiti like his personal estate. He made Ekiti people to miss all the goodies that could have come from the centre. Upon all his boastings, he has made PDP to avoidably lose Ekiti State and now, the party does not control any state in the South West. It is hoped that our leaders have learnt their lessons and would retrace their steps.
There is no notable leader of the party in the South West that Fayose has not insulted. He cannot mobilise widely in the zone, yet he rubbishes those who can. Most of our leaders do not want to have anything to do with him. Should the party continue to rely on him, the PDP will continue to lose woefully in the Southwest. Who is supporting the zonal exco that he imposed on us? Who are they reaching out to? Is there a Mobilization, Organisation and Reconciliation Committee in the South West? If there is, has the committee reached out to anyone? Who are the people being mobilized into the party? Are new members being recruited into the party? If these are not being done how will they deliver the South West?
In his selfish and desperate bid to have control of the party in the zone, he imposed on the party in the zone all the South West zonal exco members, the Deputy National Chairman, Elder Yemi Akinhonmi and National Treasurer, Hon. Aribisala Adewale. For instance, being the only PDP senator from Ogun State, I am the most senior political office holder on the platform of my party in the state, yet Makarfi allowed Fayose and his minions to impose an inconsequential Akinhonmi from same Ogun State on us as the Deputy National Chairman. How can the PDP win the South West with such a selfish structure that fails to recognise and factor in the various interests and tendencies of the major stakeholders?
I am not an APC apologist but I am a realist and a patriotic Nigerian who says things as he sees them. Fayose seizes every opportunity he has to insult President Muhammadu Buhari as if national politics is student unionism. He ridicules his own office by his contempt for that of the President of Nigeria over everything and anything including over even nothing. But I dare say that it does not lie in his mouth to do so. Now, such a person aspires to be Vice President and/or President as if the Federal Government is a toothless bull dog that he can ride roughshod over to achieve his pipe dream. By carrying on as if the Federal Government cannot do anything, he is taking the whole country for fools and we are not fools at all.
All the political tokenism of frying garri, jumping on okada and going to eat at bukas are not what would impact on the life of the average Ekiti man or woman. To what extent has he gone to make life better for the average Ekiti man or woman? Has he provided a conducive environment for them to realise their full potentials? I dare say that when Fayose criticises the President, he is doing so for his own selfish interest, not in the interest of the people. Let nobody fall for such. Clearly, the President’s pedigree and integrity towers far above Fayose’s cantankerous deception and public fraud. He shamefully told anyone who cared to listen that he wanted a third term and it was only through his deputy that he could get it. That was why he chased away all the formidable party men and women for his deputy, not because he loves him or God told him anything. Certainly, God cannot be mocked! He missed it the moment he made the election to look like a contest between him and Dr. Fayemi or even the President. The good people of Ekiti State wanted to do away with anything Fayose and that was what happened. It is not that the people do not like PDP. They still like PDP but detest Fayose and his antics. He is cancerous to the PDP and since the leadership of the party could not deal with him, the good people of Ekiti State simply dealt with him by helping the polity to remove him without any lingering traces left except for his corruption filled post-mortem.
So, what do you think is the way out?
He has been boasting that he would upturn the result of the governorship election at the courts as if he has the judiciary in his pocket. He wants to tarnish the judiciary with his own corrupt image but I want to believe this would not happen because Nigeria is blessed with some of the finest jurists that a nation can have. As for the party, the earlier they restructure the lopsided structure he has put in place in the South West, the better it would be. When he and Makarfi started, we challenged their illegalities but they refused to obey the courts and follow the Rule of Law. We could not resort to self-help, so we left them, knowing full well that the day of reckoning would come. It has now come and we have all seen it. When the reality of losing the election dawned on him, he put up all manner of theatrics for undeserved public sympathy to win the election. He pretended to have fainted, went on to wear a cervical brace, wept like a baby and then suddenly became a prayer warrior, all in a bid to whip up sentiments, draw sympathy and hoodwink the people. But in the end, he failed woefully because God cannot be mocked. He ended up killing the party in Ekiti State and by extension paralysed her in the South West. But I want to say that PDP is not for anybody. It is a political party that was established by law and should be guided by law. The party has to be repositioned and restructured to accommodate all the well-meaning leaders and stakeholders, then her electoral fortune shall improve in the South West.
Fayose lamented about vote-buying whereas he was the main culprit. After driving away all the bigwigs and stakeholders in Ekiti State, they could not but work against the party. He carried on like a demi-god. He wanted to kill me and interfered with all my cases and put his hands in everything that has to do with me – politically and judicially but the Almighty Allah showed that He was greater than him. Now, it is his turn to drink the hemlock he sought to force down the throat of others. So, I would emphatically state that it will be better for the PDP to move in and sort things out quickly in the party generally in the South West before they get out of hand.
He cannot dim my star. My star is by God’s grace and the Almighty God is bigger than all men. He has betrayed all those of us that helped him into power and turned his back on all.
I heard the bubble has burst between him and his poor deputy that he wanted to impose on the good people of Ekiti State. He made him to sign all manner of documents that he borrowed money to finance his campaign. Now that they have lost and the Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has promised to look at the books of the state, the centre can no longer hold. They are running from pillar to post. I congratulate Dr. Fayemi on his election and hope that he should restore the legendary values of the Ekiti people that have been bastardised by Fayose. The people have invested their trust in him and he should not let them down. Politics and governance should majorly be about the people and not about political parties.
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