The Ogun Youth Consultative Vanguard has warned the ruling All Progressives Congress against welcoming into its fold the Peoples Democratic Party senator, Buruji Kashamu, representing the Ogun East Senatorial District.
The youth claimed to have got wind of a move by Kashamu to defect to the APC, following his expulsion from the PDP.
They claimed that the move was so that the ruling APC would shield the senator from being extradited to the United States of America where he is said to be wanted for alleged drug-related offences.
But Kashamu’s media aide, Austin Oniyokor, refuted the claim that his principal had any plan to defect from the PDP.
Oniyokor, who said Kashamu remained a chieftain of the PDP, challenged the OGYV to come up with concrete evidence to back their claim that Kashamu was nursing any defection plan.
However, in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Adesina Ezekiel, and Secretary, Johnson Adetoun, the OGYV said it had it on good authority that Kashamu had intensified his moves to leave the PDP for the APC.
“In achieving his desperate objective, he (Kashamu) has already secured the assistance of a governorship aspirant of the ruling APC in Ogun State, who is also his very close ally, to help him to reach out to the powers that be in the Presidency in Abuja, to apprise them of his desire to move over to the ruling party and convince them to facilitate his defection.
“Also, we have it on good authority that the recent show of force by Kashamu in Ogun State was actually organised by the APC governorship aspirant and some party chieftains to convince the party (APC) leadership in Abuja and the Federal Government that Kashamu is still very relevant in Ogun State politics and that he controls a large number of the electorate.
“These are all part of the deceit and mischief by Kashamu to infiltrate Aso Rock and the national leadership of the APC to facilitate his defection,” the OGYV said.
According to the group, all the moves by Kashamu were to the ultimate end that the Federal Government would influence the outcome of his extradition case now before the Supreme Court.
The youth, however, warned the APC-led Federal Government against giving Kashamu “refuge from prosecution for the allegations made against him by another country.”
It warned that by accepting Kashamu, the APC and the Federal Government would be portraying themselves “as mere hypocrites paying lip service to the fight against corruption.”
But in a telephone interview with our correspondent, Kashamu’s media aide, Oniyokor, described his principal’s alleged defection move as baseless, noting that only last Thursday Kashamu still joined other PDP members to welcome the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to Ogun State for the Ojude Oba festival.
Oniyokor said, “There is no iota of truth in the statement or allegation that these people are making. It is not enough for people to sit in the comfort of their rooms, formulate lies and dish to the public. If anybody is saying Mr Kashamu is planning to defect, the person must provide facts and possibly pictures – facts of any meeting he has held with any APC chieftain anywhere. Senator Kashamu remains a PDP senator and he is not contemplating defecting. He has never defected since he joined politics in 2009.
“The case in court would be decided on the facts before the court; it has nothing to do with joining or not joining any party. When the NDLEA stormed his house, he was a strong PDP chieftain and he is still a strong PDP chieftain. So, saying that someone wants to join the APC so that he would be protected does not add up, because we have seen that even under the PDP government, his house was besieged. So, it doesn’t add up. It is cheap blackmail from desperate politicians from Ogun State.”
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