By Raymond Osho
LAGOS – The death has been announced of Senator Buruji Kashamu, the immediate past senator who represented Ogun East at the National Assembly. Aged 62 years.
Buruji, who represented the senatorial district in the 8th National Assembly, died on Saturday, August 8, 2029 from complications related to coronavirus (Covid-19).
His death was confirmed in a Facebook post by his former colleague, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce who wrote: “I have just lost my good friend of forever to #COVID19. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable. He died today (Saturday, August 8, 2020) at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”
Senator Kashamu was initially treated at an Isolation Center in Lagos State and declared Covid-19 negative, but the rage of underlying ailments forced him into admission at First Cardiology Consultants – also in Lagos State, for advanced care.
The gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic party in Ogun State in the last general election however lost the battle to stay alive.
Buruji Kashamu (19 May 1958 – 8 August 2020) was a Nigerian politician who served as a Senator representing Ogun East in the 8th National Assembly. Ogun East covers eleven local government areas: Ijebu North East, Ijebu North, Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu East, Ikenne, Ipokia, Odogbolu, Obafemi Owode, Remo North, Sagamu, and Ogun Waterside.
Senator Kashamu was the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local Government. He was a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Ogun State. He was appointed as the chairman, Organization and Mobilization Committee of the PDP in the South West zone of Nigeria.
In 2018, he was expelled from the People’s Democratic Party, a decision later voided by an Abuja High Court in October 2018. He was the 2019 Ogun State gubernatorial election candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Kashamu was born in Ogun State, on May 19, 1958. He started his education at Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Ijebu-Igbo and left in 1972 to complete his primary school education at St. John Modern School, Lagos.
Thereafter, he attended evening classes at Igbobi College, Lagos while working as a licensing agent. He later went to London where he took courses in Business Management at Pitman College, London.
He was awarded a Honourary PhD by Cambridge Graduate University, located in Massachusetts, at a privately organised ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.
Buruji contested for the Ogun East Senatorial seat and beat his closest rival with a poll of 99,540 votes against Prince Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who polled 84,001 votes to clinch the Senatorial seat.
He was the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 Ogun State gubernatorial election and lost against Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress in distance 4th.
In 1998, Kashamu was arrested in the United Kingdom on drugs-related charges after trying to enter the country with $230,000 in cash. He was acquitted and released in 2003. British authorities refused a US extradition request on drugs charges, citing concerns about his identity.
However Nigerian authorities announced their intention to deport him to the US on multiple occasions. Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, warned that his ongoing freedom illustrated that “drug barons … will buy candidates, parties and eventually buy power or be in power themselves”.
It is claimed that Kashamu is the real identity of “Alhaji”, the drug kingpin in Piper Kerman’s book, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.