Having read the magnum opus from the avuncular and coruscatingly resilient CAPPY, it is my pleasure to commend to him some sapient ecclesiastical dictum, which goeth thus; “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the  shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.  He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me- God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. I am forced to dwell among ravenous beast- men whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens: let your glory be over all the earth. They spread a net for my feet-I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path-but they have fallen into it themselves. My heart O God, is steadfast. I will sing and make music. [Psalm 57:1-7].
The above lines from the great King David, a jubilatory declaration over the wickedness and ‘witchcraftcy’ of his enemies comes cornucopiously handy for the great Captain [Dr.] Idahosa Wells Okunbo, JP. One needs to be schooled in the vicissitudes of the life and trajectory of this self-effacing, immolating, amiable and very calculating gentleman to appreciate how God Almighty has blessed this great son of Africa. Yet his industry, versatility, urbane and cosmopolitan predilection cannot be overemphasized. Having conquered poverty by putting his nose to the grindstone, he decided to deepen his industry by berthing a vast industrial empire, from which proceeds he has blessed and lifted his people from the bootstraps of penury. He soon came to some political consciousness that to truly fight poverty in his homestead, the political superstructure must be well streamed, manned by men and women who know that good governance begets socio-economic development. By so-doing, the people can fish for themselves. Hence, he takes more than a passive interest in the politics of his environment. As part of his quest for the development of his land of birth, he goes further to assist governments with his well-endowed resources; materials and ideas.
Captain Hosa Okunbo has done so for well over three decades now. And so many political leaders or aspiring leaders in virtually all sectors of the country’s life has drank from its rich well. But his knack is that every political office holder must work for the good, happiness and benevolence of the greatest number of the citizenry. But, life is full of contradictions. And so, some don’t get it right for a motley of reasons – ranging from the absurd to the ludicrous.
One of such budding politicians who fully appreciates the elephantine and gargantuan stature of captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo in the politics of Edo state but sought to run against his grain of influence and choose to construct his political catafalque, is Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State who recently defected from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party {PDP]. That he is trekking that path after his wild political miscalculations should ordinarily not be an issue. But his method of politics or his politics of method has turned out to be out-rightly fascistic and dancing to anarchy if not check-mated. No doubt, fascism is already brewing in Edo State. But the Edo State government take on Captain Hosa okunbo is snowballing to attacks on the finest symbols and features of liberal democracy and capitalism. If attacks on Captain Okunbo by Governor Obaseki’s “loyalists” are allowed to flower by the Nigerian State and citizens, then we may well be taking politics and democracy to Golgotha again. Nigeria must not walk that path again. A so called self- righteous monist must not be allowed to bring down the roof simply because he is about to meet his electoral defeat.
After reading Captain Hosa’s ‘open letter’ addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the good people of Edo State, published in some national newspapers on Monday, July 20, 2020, one gets the impression that Edo people are sitting on a keg of gunpowder occasioned by the political gambadoism of Mr. Governor.
How can the Governor and his hirelings be so sanctimonious to the point of forgetting so quickly and easily the humongous efforts the retired pilot turned billionaire business guru invested in Governor Obaseki’s administration for his agents to threaten burning down Captain Hosa’s investments and properties in the State? This is very ‘Unedoish’. While Captain Hosa has cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari and the good people of Edo State, seeking for protection from a fascist regime that brooks no opposition, the point should be well made that ‘a stich in time saves nine’.
We have witnessed the destruction of the properties of some Edo sons and daughters by the Obaseki’s administration on flimsy excuses that oozes of political brinkmanship .The government keep on threatening Edo people with the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy of their landed property.
In the words of Captain Hosa; “I wish to make this save-my-soul appeal to all well-meaning Edo indigenes and Nigerian citizens both at home and in the Diaspora to tell Governor Obaseki to stop this continuous attacks on me, my family and my businesses. I have been told how they intend to burn my farm and revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of all my houses in Benin City.
I have already alerted the Police of this heinous plot. But what have I done to deserve this bellicose treatment?“. These are indeed weighty allegations against Governor Obaseki. It is his lot to deny or affirm them. The point should however be made that Edo people in particular, and Nigerians in general have a responsibility to defend democracy and say no to fascism and dictatorship.
Politics, party politics, for that matter is a group game. It’s not a game for monist, who knows it all neither is it a game for the physically muscular people.it is a game of wit, strategy, tactics and deep thinking.
To think that anybody who is against you today will be against you forever, is poverty of thought in politics. Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbor is a household name in Edo state, nay in Nigeria. He is one of the few cultured, liberal and liberated industrialist’s in Nigeria today. He is a relentless advocate of liberalism, good governance and economic development. He is one character that the Edo elite and masses of the people are proud of.
Intra-elite political disagreement is a reoccurring decimal in politics .But elite consensus will always bring harmony, peace and development of society. Elections are routine of democracy. They will always come and go. The Edo State Government should rein in his attack dogs from further attacks on the personage of Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo and all others whose political peregrination don’t find congruence with his. He is the pride of Edo people. He is an agent of positive change. He is an agent of socio-economic transformation. The Governor should remember that in the final analysis the voice of the people is supreme. He should wait for September 19th, 2020 and stop harassing Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo or any Edo person for that matter. The taste of the pudding is in the eating.
As for the great Edo son, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, I implore him to remain steadfast in his commitments and faith in God Almighty. He has weathered many life threatening storms in his life trajectory but God delivered him from them all, emerging victorious and stronger. God will surely deliver him, again from this virulent attack from a government we all fought so hard to put in place. This cup will surely come to pass. Craftiness, treachery, self-righteous dispositions and know-it-all attitude are not the hallmarks of a politician and statesman. The auguries of September 19, 2020, is already both an incubus and succubus that has enveloped the outgoing Edo State Government.
(Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, former member, Federal House of Representative and Former Chief of Staff to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, wrote this piece from Benin City).
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