Senator Buruji Kashamu

The former spokesperson to President Goodluck Jonathan between 2011 and 2015, Reuben Abati, has spoken of how he was mentored politically by the late Buruji Kashamu.

Abati made this known in a tribute sent to newsmen on Sunday.

Kashamu, a former senator and businessman, died of COVID-19 complications on Saturday, at the First Cardiology Consultants Hospital in Lagos.

He was the founder of Western Lotto Limited, one of Nigeria’s lottery operators, and served as the senator representing Ogun East in the eighth National Assembly.

For years, Kashamu was wanted in the United States of America (USA) for alleged drug offences. He always denied wrongdoing.

Speaking on his death, Abati who was late Kashamu’s running mate in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Ogun State under the banner of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the former senator brought him into partisan politics.

“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. His persona, his politics was indeed grossly misunderstood but those who knew him personally met a man who loved Nigeria dearly and was unapologetically public-spirited.”

He also disclosed that Kashamu already concluded that he would not run for any office in 2023, but “he made it clear he would support others to achieve their dreams of getting an opportunity to make contributions on the Nigerian stage.”

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