GBENGA DANIEL VS KASHAMU
RE: ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON MY PERSON; MAIN SUSPECT, SENATOR BURUJI KASHAMU
I am Senator Buruji Kashamu, the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly. By the grace of the Almighty Allah, I am also the most senior political office holder in the PDP in Ogun State.
This is my rejoinder to the petition written and dated 24th August, 2017, by former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, against me. I wish to make it abundantly clear that the less than clever attempt to link me with the alleged attack on Daniel’s residence is politically-motivated. It is part of the grand plot by Daniel to subvert the due process and the Rule of Law in Ogun State where he seeks to foist an illegal caretaker committee on the PDP in the state despite the subsisting and binding court judgment which expressly states that the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco – which I belong to – should remain in office till 2020 (See attached Judgment and Order marked as Annexures 1 and 2).
There is no better proof that the petition was politically-motivated than his reference to the Supreme Court judgment on the national leadership crisis of the party which Daniel claimed confers some advantage on him whereas he is actually seeking to subvert the Rule of Law and instigate chaos because the Supreme Court judgment has nothing to do with PDP Exco in Ogun State. The authentic PDP Exco in Ogun State under the leadership of Dayo has a final judgment and orders in its favour that are yet to be appealed, set aside or upturned. What is more, the orders and judgment are binding on the Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were parties in the suit.
This cock and bull story of an attack is part of Daniel’s desperate bid to seek relevance, revive his dimming political career and hijack the structure of the PDP in Ogun State.
He merely wants to turn the heat on his perceived political opponent and perpetuate the illegal caretaker in Ogun State. He is afraid that some genuine and concerned party members could resist the brazen illegality and disregard for the Rule of Law which his actions represent being the arrowhead of the illegal caretaker committee despite being aware of the existence of the democratically-elected and the judicially approved Ogun State PDP Exco.
It might interest you to note that as law-abiding citizens, instead of raising false alarm like Daniel, the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led State Exco had written two letters dated 14th and 15th August, 2017 to your office wherein your attention was drawn to the illegal acts of Daniel and his collaborators and how they could threaten the peace and lead to chaos in Ogun State, if not checked (The letters are marked Annexures 3 and 4). A careful perusal of the two petitions and the attached documents would give you an insight into the undercurrents of this unfounded alarm.
It was therefore a surprise to me when at about 7p.m. on Friday, the 25th of August, 2017, my attention was drawn to the fact that Daniel, a known pathological liar wrote a petition against me and that the document was being circulated on the social media by his cyber team. Not too long after, my Media Adviser, Mr. Austin Oniyokor, sent the petition to my Whatsapp line. He later told me that reporters from various media houses, including Premium Times had called him to ask for his reaction.
Astonished still, I quickly read through the petition and my immediate thought was to send Daniel a text message to him as stated below: “Good evening Your Excellency. My attention has been drawn to a petition directed to the IGP dated today on political loops and the internet from you stating that I sent a group of men to go after your life. I am shocked and disappointed that a man of your calibre can descend so low to create childish and phony allegations against me. An average person will objectively read the lies concorted in this your so-called petition. Your hatred and inferiority complex towards me is clearly evident. It is normal for people to be defeated politically and yours will not be the first since 2011 that you have refused to let go. I do not now see how the victory of Markafi over Sheriff translates into your victory over me. Even the purported Ogun State care taker committee is a nullity in law as Ogun State Exco has a binding judgment that protects them against your insinuations. Firstly, all important politicians in the South West were aware of your visit with the national chairman of our great party to see our leaders, including Senator Ladoja in Ibadan. The itinerary of that visit has been public knowledge since two days ago. Why do you now think I would be looking for you in Abuja when I knew you were in Ibadan? What gain will looking for you serve me politically when it is you that has been begging Senator Ben Bruce to talk to me to avoid exposing your political deficit in the South West which is now evident. It is ridiculous for you to think that the police and the readers of your petition are foolish enough to think that armed men can come to your house, meet your policeman asleep and then lock him up in the same toilet he miraculously kept a gun and was able to escape through the ceiling where he then supposedly saved the day by shooting up to scare the gun men away after he escaped. Is it even right and professional for a police man to sleep and hide his gun in the toilet? Does that even make sense to you? You don’t need to cook up stories against me. We all know the antecedents of all the atrocities of your killer squad while you were governor and all this evidence shall be availed the police in my counter petition. I am well aware that you are planning to kill me before 2019 in your frustrated effort to take my Senate seat which is democratically invisible given the current realities. I wish you the best in yourself imposed adversities against God’s wish. Senator Kashamu.”
As can be seen from the above text message, as one of the prominent leaders of the PDP in the South West, I knew that Daniel in the company of our National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, visited some estranged chieftains of our party in Ibadan on the 24th of August, 2017 – the very day he alleged the incident happened.
There is perhaps no better proof that his itinerary was well known than the text message he sent round to notable leaders of the party, including me, inviting us to the Ibadan meeting. It was even reported in the media that he and some members of the NWC would be in Ibadan. So, clearly his movement on that Thursday, the 24th of August, 2017, was public knowledge. Find below the text message:
“FINAL FINAL Confirmation of the visit of The PDP National Chairman and members of the NCC to Party Leaders in Ibadan, Oyo State;
THE VISIT WILL NOW BE A ONE DAY WHISTLE STOP.
Thursday 24th Aug;
Depart from Abuja to Ibadan by Aeroland 10.00 hrs
12 noon; Courtesy Visit to Governor Ladoja
1pm; Courtesy Visit to Chief Richard Akinjide and a Chief Yekini Adeojo
2pm: Courtesy to Seyi Makinde
3pm Courtesy visit to Chief Alao Akala.
3pm to 5pm UNIFICATION LUNCH for 100 people at Carlton Gate Exclussive Hotel (by UCH Second gate, Secretariat Road Agodi GRA Ibadan) with media presence.
With few speeches and declarations to the PDP by the Leaders. Joint Communique to be issued. 5 pm Departure to Abuja from Airport
ALL OUR PARTY LEADERS AND SUPPORTERS ARE ENJOINED TO MEET OUR CHAIRMAN AND NCC MEMBERS AT THE IBADAN AIRPORT FROM 10.30 am prompt from where the motorcade will proceed to Governor Ladoja’s residence as the first port of call.
Gov Akala’s people will be gathered at his house in his absence to symbolically receive us.
Because of time constraints visit will be short and sharp
His Exc Governor Rashid Ladoja
His Exc Governor Alao Akala
Chief Yekini Adeojo
Hon Mulikat Adeola
Chief Mrs Jumoke Akinjide
Mr Seyi Makinde
Special Information, His Exc Ayo Fayose and Dr Eddy Olafeso, Chairman SW Zonal Committee….Dr. Olafeso to kindly rein in all the SW and relevant personalities. OGD”
I wish to emphasize that Daniel’s allegations of an attempted assassination on his life and naming me as the prime suspect are not only unfounded, spurious and tenuous but also a product of his malicious imagination. I have been in Lagos since the National Assembly went on recess last month. I do not have a killer squad like Daniel and my phones/lines and call logs are available for scrutiny.
Like he said, it is true that we have had political differences since 2009 after working together for some time. Even at that, not once have I been linked with any form of violence. I prosecute by political battles in the court of law and the court of public opinion which he acknowledged in his petition, albeit irreverently. But, I can say without any fear of contradiction that the same cannot be said of Daniel. It is common knowledge that his reign as the Governor of Ogun State was synonymous with violence, fear and politically-motivated killings which have stopped since he left office. The popular refrain when Daniel held sway was that he had a killer squad. His former Commissioner for Agriculture, Waliu Taiwo and Chief Press Secretary, Wale Adedayo, among others, had accused him of having “a killer squad” that he used to decimate perceived political opponents. The facts are there to prove me right or wrong (See Annexure 5). Adedayo even wrote a book entitled “Micro Seconds Away from Death” wherein he chronicled some of the heinous crimes perpetrated by Daniel as Governor of Ogun State, including an assassination attempt on him (Mr. Wale Adedayo). The book is a public document.
Although he alluded to some of the dastardly acts that have continued to haunt him seven years out of power, he shamelessly accused me of being behind the allegations against him. The posers for Daniel are: am I the state or EFCC that decided to try him for corruption? Am I related to the family of the late Age Omo Lemomu in Sagamu who disappeared in mysterious circumstances after helping him to power? Do I have anything to do with the death of Dele Arojo who was killed in the build up to the 2003 election?
While it is true that I took a personal interest in getting to the roots of the wanton killing of over 120 undergraduates in Ijebu North Local Government (where I hail from) at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), and got some of those who carried out the dastardly acts to confess to their most horrendous deeds in sworn affidavits and confessional statements made to a Special team of investigators formed by the Office of the IGP and in 2013 and the State Security Service (SSS) (See Annexures 6, 7 & 8).
One of those involved in the killings said in the 21-paragraph affidavit that, “We were given pump action and AK 47 guns and told not to spare the cultists and that we should dispose of dead bodies in the river in Okun Owa…All this was happening through the night and when students eventually left we started to carry the dead bodies and slashed the stomachs before dumping them into the river called Odo Okun-Owa on the way to Lagos from Odogbolu…We slashed the stomachs so that the dead bodies would not resurface and confirm the claims that students were killed.”
That was the Ogun State under Daniel which has since given way for an atmosphere of freedom, peace and tranquility.
The IGP team of investigators as well as the Ogun State Command of the State Security Service (SSS) also obtained statement from Daniel. The records should be with the relevant agencies. No doubt, this unfounded allegation is the latest in the series of concocted lies, childish tricks and cheap blackmail which have become the hallmark of the ex-governor.
Anyone who knows Daniel would readily tell you that he has a fecund mind for mischief and evil plots; he cooks up lies to divert attention from himself. This fake outcry is a gimmick to cover up his heinous past, divert attention and then perpetrate a new scheme. He did it during the recently held PDP National Convention when he sponsored the filing of a suit purportedly meant to stop the convention and turned round to lie to notable leaders of our party that I was the one who filed the suit. That is what he seeks to do with this latest hoax, all because of his morbid fear of my towering political status.
Expectedly, his cheap blackmail has led to a chain of reactions, including the purported dissolution of the Ogun State and South West PDP Exco. But, as law-abiding citizens, the authentic party structure and its leadership have approached the court for adjudication on the issues instead of resorting to self-help.
While all these were going on, Daniel approached one of my colleagues and a friend, Senator Ben Bruce and asked him to plead with me so we could settle our political differences and work together in Ogun State. Senator Bruce met with me and I told him I was ready to work with Daniel but would have to consult with my leaders, elders and supporters. I also said if there was going to be meetings, the first one should be held in my office and then the next in Daniel’s office which I was ready to attend once approved by the other stakeholders.
You could therefore imagine the level of my consternation if the same man who had called for reconciliation could turn round to level this kind of weighty yet unfounded allegation against me, without any shred of evidence or link whatsoever, assuming the incident ever happened.
However, I was a bit relieved when I recalled how Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, described him in “Interventions: An Odyssey in the Republic of Liars”. The renowned Soyinka described Daniel as “Dani elebo”, meaning “Dani, the fetish one”. He went on to say, “This governor lied and lied and lied until he lied his head off”.
Even when the petition was dropped on a Whatsapp group known as “Ogun Governorship 2019”, on the 26th of August, 2017, Daniel’s erstwhile Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Adedayo, wrote with telephone no 08133878568 that, “The petition by my former Oga is very interesting. But I think it was written to keep Kashamu busy, not that the man is behind ANY attempt on OGD’s life. After Funsho Williams, there are certain jobs that are no longer possible for ‘Boyz’ to execute at home. PDP wants to cage Kashamu. I also agree, once he continues to play a spoiler game. But this assassination story is not it at all. Oga should have consulted on strategy. But on this one, the facts and circumstances does (sic) not have Kashamu anywhere near it. In fact, when burglars swept through Oga’s Abuja house last year, it was neatly done. Of course, it was an inside job, which I followed to get sure facts. Assassins are not easily scared by sound of gunshot. Only armed robbers run when they hear the sound of bullets. Assassins also do not miss their targets. 80% of assassination job is surveillance. If these ones are assassins, they would have come when OGD was there. My lite advice, OGD should not follow this up. It is not cool! Adopt another method, Oga. Your goal is very simple. You are not just going about it the right way!” Need I say more?
Suffice it to say that since Daniel left office, he has refused to come to terms with the fact that he is out of power. He has continued to struggle for relevance and accommodation within the Ogun State chapter of the PDP even when he defected to other political parties and returned.
It is common knowledge that upon his last return to the PDP from the Labour Party (LP) where he went pre-2015, I was the one of the notable leaders of the PDP who received him back to our party. But, we soon fell apart because of his self-centred and deceitful character.
Conversely, Daniel and his co-travellers see me as the obstacle to their hegemonic tendency; hence their desperate bid to get rid of me either by hook or crook. Whilst Daniel says he wants to replace me at the Senate; one of his boys, Ladi Adebutu nurses a governorship ambition. It is quite discomfiting that their only strategy is to always raise the alarm about a purported assassination attempt and then look for someone to pin it on.
This was the strategy employed by Adebutu (who works closely with him) exactly one year ago. The matter ended up in the court and the Police have since issued an interim report exonerating me of the unfounded allegation (See Annexures 8 and 9).
In the meantime, Daniel wants to also contest for the office of the National Chairman of the PDP and then go from there to contest to replace me at the Senate in 2019. He has probably seen that his ambitions would be a long shot given the present realities in Ogun State and particularly Ogun East which I represent and where he claims to hail from.
These are the factors that have accentuated their worry and desperation to distract and weaken me in the hope that it would help them consolidate their bid to illegally seize control of the Ogun State PDP structure which they perceived is in my firm grip given my philanthropic activities and performance as the highest political office holder of the party in the state.
It is obvious from my account of all that transpired between me and Daniel that the alarm raised via the petition has no basis in history, facts and evidence. It was politically-motivated and clearly showed his state of mind. He is the accuser, the investigator and the judge in his own case. If indeed the incident happened, one would have expected him to report it and allow the security agencies to do their work instead of this kind of brazen name-calling which bothers more on hallucination and red herring.
Whilst not preempting the Police, there is a wide security gap in the petition which I wish to urge the authorities to examine.
Daniel claimed in his petition that the gateman was pushed inside by the five armed men. The gateman told the alleged invaders that there were five policemen in the compound. He then took them to the policeman who was sleeping at the boys’ quarters. Thereafter, the policeman who was without his rifle was locked inside toilet while the armed men were searching the house.
Now, the questions are: Were there five policemen in the house or not? How come it was only one that was seen and without a gun? Is it right for a policeman to hide his gun somewhere and sleep in another place, especially at night? Would the alleged assassins be so daft to have left the only policemen they saw and concentrated more on the less risky and unarmed gateman? Where in a toilet can a gun be possibly kept? Was the incident reported at the nearest police station when it happened? If yes, who did? If not, why? Are there no close-circuit cameras in the house?
As for me, I have no interest in Daniel’s death or that of any human being. If I engaged him as a sitting Governor with tact and intelligence, why would I want to attack or assassinate him now? This was a man who could not stop my election in 2015 despite the Presidential election funds he cornered. He worked against me and the PDP at the poll. Yet, we triumphed. The almighty Allah who has always made me to triumph over my adversaries is on the throne and He will continue to deliver me from their evil plots and give me resounding victory and good success over and above them.
In the light of the above, I wish to urge you to use your good offices to dissect the issues, claims and counter-claims. I have no doubt that if the issues are critically examined, his petition would be discountenanced as a cocktail of lies, lacking in substance and not deserving of any attention whatsoever. The Police, as a responsible institution, should not allow anyone to manipulate it to settle political scores, no matter the colouration.
On the other hand, you may wish to launch an investigation into some of the atrocities committed during the Daniel era in Ogun State which he mentioned in passing but I have brought to the fore with documentary evidence. This would help to establish who has a culture of violence between the two of us – and could resort to violence in resolving political differences.
While I trust that you would handle this counter-petition with the highest level of professionalism, accept the assurances of my highest regards.
Senator Buruji Kashamu
Ogun East Senatorial District
Cc: DG, SSS