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Life and Times of Buruji Kashamu

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Buruji Kashamu was born on 19 May 1958  and died of COVID-19 complications on 8 August 2020. He 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 Peoples 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. He died of COVID-19 on 8 August 2020.

Early life and education

Buruji Kashamu was born in Ogun State, Nigeria on 19 May 1958. Kashamu started his education at Ansarudeen Primary School, Ijebu Igbo and left in 1972 to complete his primary school education at St. John Modern School, Lagos. He then attended evening classes at Igbobi College 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 the unaccredited, diploma-mill Cambridge Graduate University, located in Massachusetts, at a privately organised ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.

Cambridge Graduate University claims to be accredited by the International Accreditation Organization (IAO). The IAO itself is listed as part of unrecognized higher education accreditation organizations. Cambridge Graduate University is not a recognised university in the United States due to this lack of accreditation.

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Buruji Kashamu 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, Buruji 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”.

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It is claimed that Buruji 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.


Buruji Kashamu died in Lagos on 8 August 2020 as a result of complications caused by COVID-19.

He was 62 years old.


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