The crisis in Nigeria's ruling political party - Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken another turn for the worse with the consideration to withdraw from party activities by the party's former Party Leader and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) - Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Former President Obasanjo in a letter dated 7 January 2014 to the National Chairman of the PDP - Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Obasanjo protested the seeming emergence of Buruji Kashamu as the Party's South West Nigeria Zonal Leader. Obasanjo stated that Kashamu is a drug baron whose extradition has been requested by the United States of America.
Obasanjo said: "while I continue to remain a card-carrying member of PDP, I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom extradition has been requested by the US government. In the meantime, I will consider withdrawing my activity with PDP at local, state, zonal and national levels until the anomalous and shameful situation is corrected.”
Kashamu states that while it is true that he was once arrested in the United Kingdom for alleged drug offences, that he was cleared. He also denies that he is being sought by the United States authorities.
Buruji was once Obasanjo’s political ally and a major financier in the battle to hijack the PDP 's machinery in Ogun State from former Governor - Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
The full text of the letter reads:
“While I believe that a good and truly national political party must be a microcosm of the nation in its membership, made up of all sorts of characters from near-saints to near-satan, I also believe that on no account should a known habitual criminal that is wanted abroad to face criminal charges levelled against him be extolled as a political leader in a respectable and wholesome nation-building political party.
“ Buruji Kashamu has been so extolled in PDP in South-West geo-political zone which I personally find unsavoury. Politics played by any national political party must have morality, decency, discipline, principles and leadership examples as cardinal practices of the party. I have attached here recent documents that clearly indicate that your extolled PDP Zonal Leader in the South-West zone of Nigeria and an indigene of Ogun State is, to say the least, not a credit to the party as a member, let alone being a zonal leader.
“Since I stick in my practice of party politics to the hallowed and cherished principles enunciated above, I take this opportunity to let you know that while I continue to remain a card-carrying member of PDP, I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom extradition has been requested by the US government. In the meantime, I will consider withdrawing my activity with PDP at local, state, zonal and national levels until the anomalous and shameful situation is corrected.”