Buruji Kashamu’s Death: Two Views
His death is yet another confirmation that COVID-19 is real, capricious and wicked. It is also a sober reaffirmation of the maxim that “man proposes, but God disposes.”
I am completely heartbroken. Senator Buruji Kashamu was my political mentor. Now he is dead at the relatively young age of 62. I feel like an orphan all over again.
I may have worked with the PDP government at the federal level, but he was the man who brought me into direct, partisan politics. He was one of the most generous men that I have ever known. He was determined to groom me and he did. He taught me the ropes. He linked me with the grassroots. I learnt a lot from him. Senator Kashamu mentored me and others without any strings attached. He was a very simple man who was grossly misunderstood by his political opponents. His persona, his politics was indeed grossly misunderstood but those who knew him personally met a man who loved Nigeria dearly and was unapologetically public-spirited.
He enjoyed giving other people opportunities. He was humorous, kind-hearted, large-hearted and genial. With his death, Nigeria, Ogun state, Ijebuland and the people of Ijebu-Igbo have lost an illustrious son, who demonstrated courage, talent and creativity in everything to which he applied his energy. His death is yet another confirmation that COVID-19 is real, capricious and wicked. It is also a sober reaffirmation of the maxim that “man proposes, but God disposes.”
He no longer wanted to run for office in 2023, but he made it clear he would support others to achieve their dreams of getting an opportunity to make contributions on the Nigerian stage. And now, he is gone. Death is a cruel fact of human reality. It puts an end to life and many things. But Senator Kashamu will never be forgotten by those who loved him and who were privileged to relate with him. My heartfelt condolences to Sherifat and her siblings and all members of the Kashamu family, the people of Ijebu Igbo and Ogun State.
–By Reuben Abati, Ph.D, Senator Kashamu’s running mate, 2019 gubernatorial election
AND KASHAMU ESCAPED JAIL
If Nigeria must make any progress, we as a people must shed the weight of our foolishness.
We must purge ourselves of the correctness in showing respect for the dead, who while alive were people that deserved none.
I really would not have bothered about making any comment on the death of Kashamu Buruji, an individual I find not deserving of one, except for the pathetic show by Reuben Abati on Channels TV, shedding tears in respect for a man who at best, should be happy death was better than serving time in a US jail.
Just last week, I questioned the tributes and honour given to Ismaila Funtua, only to have a worse example of celebrating the dead pop up in Buruji, a man of questionable character and whose extradition was filed by the US in 2018 over drug trafficking charges.
Buruji as I will continue to call him, because he does not earn my respect to call him Senator, has no immunity, but has fought his extradition to go clear his name.
Like most Nigerian “Tokunbo Criminals” who are elected officers today, he claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.
But isn’t going over to America to answer to the charges, the best way of clearing the issue and name?
Buruji fought to make that opportunity impossible and while living under the cloud of being a drug baron, the society celebrated him.
The National Association of Nigerian Students, honoured him with its Man of the Year Award and he served out a full term in the Senate.
You would have thought that with his past, he should have been left to live out his life in the shame of being a wanted man, but no, not in a society like ours where we must give opportunity to revere criminals and immortalize their criminality in flowery tribute.
Honestly, if not for Reuben Abati, I would have let it go, but to see him shed tears for Buruji and call him “mentor” really stuck in my craw.
So Buruji is now the measure of who and what we should aspire to be?
I can understand NANS seeing Buruji as a role model , after all a lot of them aspire to being drug barons or whatever else it takes as long as “kin sa ti l’owo”, but my heart sank hearing the words uttered by Reuben Abati.
It was doubly numbing because it evidently was not a simple matter of correctness, in not speaking ill of the dead, but he really meant it.
Thank God, people like Reuben are not Him, because if they were, Buruji would not only have escaped jail, but would have cheated death too.
–By Eyo Akpan