Kashamu
Kashamu

Ahead of Saturday’s national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the
National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu has drawn the attention of delegates,
leaders and stakeholders of the party to media reports that the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was planning to re-arrest some
aspirants accused of corruption cases.

According to the media reports, which are yet to be refuted, the aspirants
included two former Governors from the South-West and two other aspirants
from the South-South who were accused of receiving money from the Office of
the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).

In a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, Kashamu said, “While it is true
that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, our great party
cannot afford to close its eyes to this potential threat.

“It is a no-brainer that if a national chairman with a corruption case is
elected, the party will literally be put on trial with him. This is one
avoidable risk that is too much to take. You can be sure that a corruption
trial of the national chairman of an opposition party will come with a lot
of bad publicity that will sound the death knell the party.

“To the best of my knowledge, two of our leaders, former Governor of Ogun
State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and ex-acting National Chairman of our great
party, Prince Uche Secondus are national chairmanship aspirants who fit the
above description,” Kashamu said.

He supplied the link of the story which was headlined, “National
convention: EFCC on the trail of chairmanship aspirants” as

National convention : EFCC on the trail of chairmanship aspirants 


.

The report reads inter alia, “Ahead of the Saturday’s Elective National
Convention of the former ruling Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
the Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are
said to be warming up for re-arrest of at least five of its aspirants.

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“Informed source at both the National Secretariat of the Party and the
anti-graft Agency told the Nigerian Tribune last Night that the breakdown
of the aspirants indicated Four National Chairmanship and one Deputy
National Chairmanship aspirants respectively

According to our sources, ‎the aspirants included two former Governors from
the South-West and two other aspirants from the South-South who were
accused of receiving money directly or indirectly from the former National
Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and former President Goodluck
Jonathan.

“The Party’s out going National Caretaker Committee led ‎ by Senator Ahmed
Makarfi had last month raised the alarm that the EFCC under the All
Progressives Congress, APC, had marked over 50 top members of the party for
arrest over false corruption related allegations.

“Though both the Commission and the Administration denied it but several
chieftains of the Party including former Governors, Ministers and a former
Secretary to the Government of the Federation were picked up and detained
for weeks by the Commission.

“However, the Party again through its Spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, on
Wednesday raised the alarm that some overzealous top Government officials
were working round the clock to disrupt the forthcoming National Convention
of the Party out of fear that the Party was out to chase the APC out of
power.

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Prince Adeyeye who said that the affected government officials were doing
the plot without the knowledge of President Mohammadu Buhari, appealed for
his intervention and stop the evil plot in the overall interest of the
nation’s hard earned democracy.

An informed Party source confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune last night that
the leadership of the Party had already got wind of the possible rearrest
of its Aspirants with EFCC cases.

The source said that mother of all fears had already gripped the affected
aspirants possible arrest by the ‎Commission only to be released after the
Convention.

A top official of the EFCC told the Nigerian Tribune in confidence that the
Commission could re-arrest any suspect at any time there was fresh evidence
against him and that if it was true that the Commission was on the trail of
the aspirants, ‘it means that the Commission is having fresh facts against
them’.”

Senator Kashamu urged the delegates and stakeholders, especially the South
East, to support the quest of the South West to produce the national
chairman in the interest of equity and justice.

While calling on the South-East to borrow a leaf from the Northern Elders
Forum (NEF) in supporting the South-West in its aspiration, Kashamu said,
“Our brothers and sisters from the South-East need to be categorical now in
support of the South-West on the ongoing national chairmanship tussle
between the South-West and the South-South.

”The implication of this avoidable tussle is to make uncertain the settled
South-East vice-presidential quest in 2019. If the South-East expectedly
takes a principled stance in support of the South-West, naturally as a
reliable race in adherence to agreements, the Yoruba people would
reciprocate without any prompting. What is currently happening is glaringly
an orchestrated assault on the South-West to end up with nothing in 2019,
just like we did when our party was in power. This is a dangerously
illogical political permutation for 2019 national elections.”

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Although the lawmaker acknowledged the right of others to seek election, he
was of the view that it should not be done at the expense of established
norms and agreements.

“Without prejudice to anybody’s right to aspire for party positions, it is
an open secret that the PDP national chairmanship had been conceded to the
South-West pre-Port Harcourt convention. It was because of this that the
other positions zoned to the South-West are innocuous deputies to
substantive offices except the National Treasurer. All these are because of
the vital national chairmanship had already been conceded to the South West.

“It is in the light of the above that I wish to reiterate my call on our
notable leaders, elders and delegates to put the interest of democracy and
the future of our great party above any pecuniary interest or
considerations. This is the time we have to rebrand our party and
reposition it,” Kashamu said.

He commended the PDP Northern Elders Forum for supporting the South-West,
saying their principled stance in support of the South-West has been noted
and would be reciprocated at the appropriate time.


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