Hosa Okunbo: What Manner of Love for his People? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Hosa Okunbo: What Manner of Love for his People?

Posted: May 2, 2015 at 12:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Although, the 2015 general elections have come and gone, the dust and ripples generated are yet to settle. Again, it’s no longer news that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State was in alliance with the newly registered Social Democratic Party (SDP) to return President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office with a vote of 58.34 per cent. Unfortunately, that was not enough to deliver him. However, the Lion of Uromi, Chief Tony Anenih, was able to hold his ground once again, as he delivered the three National Assembly seats in his Esan land to his party, two House of Reps members and the Senator for Edo Central.

The PDP leadership in Edo South also gave bulk of their votes to Jonathan in that election. They “captured” all the federal seats but one. That is, three House of Reps seats and the controversial Senate slot for Edo South. However, for the April 11 state election, it was a different ball game. The PDP lost all the seats for the Edo State House of Assembly in the South and North senatorial districts. The only consolation in the 24 House of Assembly seats were the three it managed to win out of the six in Esan land. Again, courtesy of the Lion Uromi.

Surprisingly, there have been syndicated opinions, analyses and advertorial in the media since last weekend, projecting the Bini business mongul, Captain Hosa Okunbo, as the one with the magic wand who delivered the votes of the Bini to his “friend” in Abuja in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections and also claimed to have “galvanised his people” to vote for the APC in the subsequent elections. With striking similarities, the syndicated articles painted the Captain as the new Messiah of the Bini with unparallel love for his people, a man who places his people far and above business consideration. The publications further said that if not for the love of his people, the PDP would have swept the state House of Assembly polls on April 11. According to the hired image launderers, Captain wanted to protect the interests of the Bini by making sure they belong to the main stream politics, hence, he “galvanised” them to vote for the APC.

I disagree with all these postulations; they are nothing but the Biblical voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. Captain cannot claim to love the Bini people more than the palace. If he so loves his people as claimed, placing them above business interests, he should point at any visible company he has established anywhere in the state where his people are employed. Yet, he is stupendously rich! I wish to humbly call on our dear Captain to go beyond handouts. Give the people hooks and nets; teach them how to fish rather than giving them fish. I make bold to say that our Captain merely embarked on that media voyage to protect his business interests and his stupendous wealth acquired over the years. He only latched on the gullibility of a section of the media and attempted to soften the ground and walk his way into the emerging power at the centre so as to continue to oil the wheels of his business empire.

It’s no secret that Captain is a shrewd businessman who only sows where he can reap. He knows very well that if he had emptied his account to bankroll the state Assembly election of April 11, he would have lost everything including the “deposits” because he would have been contending with legion of forces. Aside the determination of the Bini leaders to queue behind the APC in the spirit of reciprocity for the monumental development strides in the South, the whirlwind of bandwagon effect would have been too strong for him to confront.

It must be said here too that the March 28 election was lost by the APC in the South out of share greed and betrayal on the part of some of the party leaders. By that selfish action they had embarrassed their son, John Odigie-Oyegun, the national chairman of the APC. They made the former governor and authentic Bini leader appear like someone who is rejected by his people. They also betrayed Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who has done so much in the state, especially in the Bini Kingdom. In fact, the highest single project costing N25 billion, the Benin storm water project is cited in the South Senatorial District beside other projects which have made the ancient Benin City a befitting modern state capital.

It’s, however, never in doubt that the Bini are appreciative of the modest contributions of the APC government to the development of the ancient kingdom, as against the inglorious era of “share the money.” Hence, some of the leaders were not too happy with the outcome of the March 28 polls. They quickly re-strategised and mobilised their people to right the wrong. This is why it was a clean sweep for the APC in the April 11 polls, clinching 21 out of the 24 seats in the state House of Assembly. So, it is uncharitable and the height of self-deceit for any man to lay claim to that collective victory of the Bini leaders, regardless of the deep pocket. This is also unfair to the highly revered palace, the Enighie, the Odionwere, opinion leaders and the voters who defied the element and waited patiently to do the needful on that fateful day.


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