In Defence Of Capt Wells ‘Hosa Okunbo
By Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, JP
Politics in Nigeria has become dirtier by the day, especially with the entrance of unpatriotic, power-seeking and power-mongers, ethnic champions, pretenders and jobbers. Therefore, it has become more difficult to separate the patriots from this pack; with the result that the reasonable men and women are unfairly joined with the club of ignoramus. Perhaps the Holy Book foresaw this, when we were admonished not to be unequally yoked with the unbelief (the political Gentiles and Pharisees). No matter how smart or no matter the excuse, that, you are a businessman or businesswoman the lazy politicians who have taken politics as end to their means will find no sense in this excuse.
Considering the recurring unwarranted hostilities targeted at Capt Wells ‘Hosa Okunbo, it is justifiable to put certain facts in perspective, at least for posterity. A quick reference of some Capt’s business and political activism should be the starting point. I have known the subject matter for about 20 years and our first meeting was infrequent. He may not remember what preceded my visit. Suffice to say that he had acted as a peace maker at a gathering I didn’t have the opportunity to defend myself against my accusers who were prepared to play the Pontius Pilate at that material time. I drove into his newly built home in Benin City and as I mentioned my name, there was momentous silence. I thanked him for defending a man he has never known, simply because of the honest and courageous things he had about me. Such is the character of this unassuming patriot.
Again, when I was clamped down in detention by the President Olusegun Obasanjo with sedition charges. After four harrowing days in the cell, I stumbled into a secret call-centre that was operated by the ‘president’ of the cell. The only number I could remember was that of Hon. Osaro Obaze who explained to me that the man who by this time had become my friend, was in England and he volunteered his number. I was fortunate to speak with him and he cut short his trip, returned to Abuja the following day determined to secure my release. Eventually, his effort along with others like Senator Rowland Owie, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Lady Omorede Osifo, Comrade Aiyamenkhue Hon Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, Abdul Oroh, Festus Keyamo, SAN and most especially, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu secured my release.
There are few men in our clime that can be sacrificially helpful like our brother, Capt Okunbo. Such testimony abounds everywhere of his selfless works. Despite shying away from partisan politics, I can attest to a fact, from my reportage and our closeness, that he remains a pathfinder in the State where he has provided resounding support for the benefit of all.
In the final analysis, Capt Okunbo’s political philanthropy and charity would be generously captured in a section reserved for the fathers of modern day democracy in Nigeria and Edo State in particular for his foresight and non-partisan support for the search of qualitative leadership.
Whatever success may have been recorded within the state in the past 10 years or so, has his imprint. I remember vividly the event of April 14, 2007 during the governorship election between the Prof Oserhiemen Osunbor of the Peoples Democratic Party and Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Action Congress.
Many of us that were left at the mercy of the menacing rampaging PDP foot soldiers found ‘cover’ in Capt and the courage to fight on until the last sound of the deafening guns on our streets. Less than 24 hours after, Capt and I disguised to escape from Benin City in an Aero Contractor’s aircraft; watching and mindful of probing eyes. If this isn’t political patriotism, I wander what else it could have been. He was working his figures from millions to zero because we had a political non starter as candidate and a freshly registered political party. He didn’t mind, since that was the change Edo people earnestly wanted then.
In conclusion, I am conversant with the recent political happenstance and the curative role he played to stabilise the polity and endurance of the status quo. They have all worked for the good of political correctness today and deservedly too, he needs to be rewarded with our goodwill. More so, Capt isn’t an off the hook businessman because he has paid his dues in very hard and hazardous ways to have finally arrived where he is today. Unlike several of our wealthy men and women who despite making their fortunes from the system as contractors and cheerleaders, the man in question conquered the world and has brought his ‘spoils of war’ home! Let us encourage him!!