***Says PDP Governor Spent N850m On Legal Fees Over Party’s Leadership crisis
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
A staunch ally of the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, Senator Buruji Kashamu, yesterday refuted claims that he has defected from the party, stressing that he remains a stakeholder.
The Senator who accused the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose and a former senator from Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, of masterminding the reports of his defection, said the governor and senator do not have the capacity to push him out of the party.
Kashamu, who represents Ogun East in the Senate, further disclosed that while a governor of the party paid a whopping sum of N850m as legal fees for the leadership crisis at the Supreme Court, Fayose, who he said has been bragging over the victory, contributed only N3m.
The serving senator further cautioned the national chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, not to allow Fayose and Omisore spoil their efforts to unite the party and reposition it, stressing that the governor and former senator cannot deliver the PDP in the South-west in future elections.
He however warned that a first step towards promoting enduring peace and harmony in the party is to ensure that executives that were constituted in the states before national leadership crisis broke out should not be tampered with.
Kashamu in a statement refuting insinuations of his defection, said “From my interactions with some of those who defected and what I read in the media, these were the undercurrents that informed their decision to align with another political platform.
“But, as for me, Fayose and Omisore cannot push me out of the PDP. They do not have what it takes. I am not going anywhere. I remain a strong mobiliser for the PDP and one of its leaders in the South West.
“That is why I cannot close my eyes to impunity and injustice. I will continue to fight for the rights of the less privileged within and outside the party. I will continue to fight for the interest of the Yoruba people and the South West in general.
“For our members, who, out of annoyance, decided to join another political platform to prove their worth, I have started talking to them and will continue to do so.
“Most of them had worked with Fayose and they know him. They feared that if the party in the South West is handed over to him, he would muzzle them and kill the party with his greed, impunity and childish antics.”
“I wish to emphatically state that I will remain in the PDP and continue to work for it, even as I watch events unfold. I am not going anywhere. We are all equal stakeholders in the PDP. It does not belong to anyone or a clique.”
He cautioned against the continuous ego massaging of Fayose and Omisore, adding “These people do not have what it takes to deliver for the PDP. Nigerians and the people of the South West want a paradigm shift from those who brought our great party to its knees.
“They crave for a new narrative. They seek new ways of doing things. They want leaders who abhor impunity and respect the rule of law, in words and deed.
“Most of the characters parading themselves as leaders are mere opportunists who are after feathering their own nest. Ask them what they have done for the party other than positioning themselves to benefit from every opportunity the party offers.”
He added “At this juncture, it has become necessary to ask Fayose to stop bragging about the Supreme Court judgment. Although it is the Almighty Allah that gives victory, we know those who truly worked for it. A governor like him spent about N850 million on legal fees while his own contribution was just N3million.
“It is against this backdrop that I wish to implore our leaders and elders, especially the God-fearing National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, not to allow Fayose and Omisore to spoil their efforts to unite the party and reposition it.
“Fayose is consumed by his unbridled ambition to be Vice-President or President while Omisore wants to be governor by all means. I said it when the leadership crisis started that Fayose orchestrated it to pocket the party’s structure in the South West and make it easier for him to realize his ambition.
“Since he cannot imagine a life out of politics and power, few days after the Supreme Court judgment, he launched his so-called Presidential campaign.
“This explains why in Osun State, Fayose and Omisore are promoting Hon. Faforiji over and above the validly elected state exco which is led by Hon. Soji Adagunodo.
“In Oyo State, Fayose is scheming to install Hon. Ajibola Muraina as the State Chairman, just as he wants to install his puppet in Lagos State and also thwart the aspiration of Chief Bode George for the position of the National Chairman of our great party.
“Since Chief George is seeking elective position at the national level, it is imperative for him to put his house in order and build a virile and united front in Lagos State.
“Even in his home state of Ekiti, I wager that Fayose alone cannot deliver for the PDP. He needs to work with other notable leaders and stakeholders.
“Otherwise, he would soon see that he has become like a fish out of water, panting and struggling for a life line. He should realize that he is not going to be on the ballot.
“Even if he were to be, the scenarios under which he won his elections in 2003 and 2014 will not be there. The dynamics are totally different. And it takes a clear and balanced mind to appreciate the odds and work on them. Pride and arrogance cannot do it.”