By Emmanuel Aziken
Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo’s condolence letter to Governor Dapo Abiodun on the death of Senator Buruji Kashamu was laced with several innuendoes that reflected the difficult relationship between the deceased and the former president.
When President Obasanjo wrote President Goodluck Jonathan the famous letter expressing his opposition to his sustenance in office, Kashamu was a central factor in the break-up between the two men.
Obasanjo felt it was wrong for President Jonathan to patronize Kashamu who he, Obasanjo claimed was a fugitive from the law in the United States.
There are at least seven takeaways that can now be drawn from the condolence letter as it related to the dealings between the two Ogun political leaders.
ONE: I received the sad news of the death of Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashamu)
Dr. Obasanjo did not celebrate the death. He said he received the news with sadness, meaning that he still has human emotions in him. The death of anyone is a sad event.
TWO: He called him Senator Esho Jinadu, and put Buruji Kashamu in brackets. Obasanjo went the length of calling the deceased by the name he was believed to have originally been birthed with. The late senator was said to have had many names in his several encounters with the law.
THREE: ..a significant citizen of Ogun State.
Dr. Obasanjo described him as a significant person in Ogun State recognizing the fact that the deceased was a notable person not only in Ogun but also in Nigeria. The late Kashamu was very instrumental to the crisis that rocked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at the national level and was on top of the several crises that befell the state chapter of the party.
He had also been severally indentified as the financier of the PDP in Ogun State.
FOUR: Senator Buruji Kashamu in his lifetime used the maneuver of law and politics to escape from facing justice on alleged criminal offence in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
President Obasanjo was his unpretentious self in this paragraph as he spoke of Kashamu in the way he spoke while the senator was alive. After the initial political romance between the two of them when Kashamu first joined politics, Obasanjo subsequently separated from him and was particularly pained that President Goodluck Jonathan patronized him in the crisis that engulfed the PDP chapter in Ogun State while the former president was in power.
Dr Obasanjo believed that Kashamu by portraying himself as a kingpin of the PDP during the Jonathan era used the leverage in government quarters to escape US extradition request.
FIVE: But no legal, political, cultural, social, or even medical maneuver could stop the cold hand of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.
Dr. Obasanjo who earned his doctorate in theology put forward the fact that all men are mortal saying that with all the swagger and political clout that Kashamu displayed in life that he could still not escape the supremacy of the divine will that all men must die at least once.
SIX: “May Allah forgive his sin and accept his soul into Aljanah, and may God grant his family and friends fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
President Obasanjo ever sensitive to religious sensibilities concluded the letter by praying that Kashamu’s sins be forgiven as it is done for all Muslims.
SEVEN: The life and history of the departed have lessons for those of ALL us on this side of the veil.
There was a grammatical glitch in the second paragraph of the letter which is unusual for letters, especially brief letters from Dr. Obasanjo, indicating a rush by the former president to send out the letter with his real emotions and thought of the departed without revising.