Buruji Kashamu dies of COVID-19 complications

The Coronavirus pandemic yesterday claimed the life of another prominent Nigerian, Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Kashamu, 62, died at First Cardiologist Consultants in Lagos of complications from COVID-19. News of his death was broken by his close friend and associate, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.

Murray-Bruce, writing on Twitter said: “I have just lost my good friend of forever to #COVID19. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable. He died today 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.”

Kashamu represented Ogun East in the 8th Senate and was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election.

He was locked in a legal tussle with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for many months following an attempt to arrest him for extradition to the US.

He went to court and obtained an injunction restraining the agency from arresting or extraditing him.

COVID 19 had earlier killed Mallam Abba Kyari, former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, and Abiola Ajimobi, former Governor of Oyo State.

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, was one of the leaders that reacted to the development yesterday. He expressed shock over the death of the senator.

In a statement released in Abeokuta yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, Abiodun described Kashamu’s passing  as one death too many and a devastating blow to the nation’s political family generally.

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He said: “I received the sad news of the passing of Senator Buruji Kashamu today, 8 August, 2020, with a deep pain and grief that words cannot capture. On behalf of my family, the Government and good people of Ogun State, I convey our deepest condolences.

“His demise further diminishes the tribe of my close political associates. He was a large-hearted politician and courageous fighter for whatever cause he believed in.

“He was not just a loving personality, a generous giver and someone who lived for others; he was to many a beacon of hope of a better tomorrow. This painful exit is much more than the end of an individual.

“Distinguished Senator Kashamu was a phenomenon; he was faithful to his principles and convictions and even his critics would attest to his tenacity of purpose.

“Our brother and friend was a consummate politician and patriot who will be sorely missed within and outside Ogun State for his larger than life disposition.

“Posterity will accord him his due recognition for his legacies of service and forthrightness. He was a worthy Ambassador of Ogun State,” he said.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has also condoled with Governor Abiodun on the death of Kashamu.

In a condolence letter to the governor, Obasanjo said the death of the PDP stalwart was sad, but noted that, the life and history of the departed have lessons for those on this side of the veil.

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Dr. Reuben Abati, Kashamu’s running mate during the 2019 gubernatorial election in Ogun State (PDP), in his reaction yesterday said: “I am completely heartbroken. Senator Buruji Kashamu was my political mentor. Now he is dead at the relatively young age of 62. I feel like an orphan all over again. I may have worked with the PDP government at the federal level, but he was the man who brought me into direct, partisan politics. He was one of the most generous men that I have ever known. He was determined to groom me and he did.  He taught me the ropes. He linked me with the grassroots. I learnt a lot from him.

Senator Kashamu mentored me and others without any strings attached.  He was a very simple man who was grossly misunderstood by his political opponents.

He will be laid to rest at 12noon today in his hometown, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.

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