By Sufuyan Ojeifo
The single-mindedness of Captain Hosa Okunbo, a business mogul of international repute and a proud son of Benin Kingdom, is not an issue for speculation. He has consistently walked his talk and this is writ-large in the way he continues to put his nose to the grindstone in his commitment to add value to everything he does for country and for the uplift of humanity.
His life is an open book that can be read and digested in order to appreciate the existential challenges he confronts and how, by a combination of providence and hard work, he continues to surmount them. His solid achievements in the business domain are testaments to his character of integrity, disciplined disposition and crystallization of his successful brand.
Captain Hosa or Cappy, as he is fondly called by his friends, deploys his magic wand, which approximates the Midas touch, in building his network of businesses in the contexts and contestations between contending and countervailing forces in the political economy. Thus, the magnitude of his reinforcing persona ramifies the atmospherics and the nuances of society, especially in the intercourse between economy and politics.
Consequently, it becomes inexorably difficult to maintain a delicate balance or even a streak of either interest or disinterest in the goings-on in the polity, especially the subset of Edo State, where he comes from. Captain Hosa has deployed his God-given riches to affect lives positively in the State, which anyone who is politically perceptive can attest to; hence he has virtually become a household name in the Benin Kingdom.
Whereas, mischief makers always abound in the cosmos of human interactions, it is thus understandable why some of them who have deliberately chosen to be uncomfortable with his legerdemain that finds anchorage in his eleemosynary persona have become jittery and are insinuating him into their own political designs. This is an unconscionable red herring.
Specifically, the elements that have chosen to concoct a series of conspiracy theories to draw out Captain Hosa to either confirm or deny his interest in the governorship of Edo State, are only afraid of their own shadows. They have, in recent times, saturated the mainstream and social media with speculations that he is set to contest the governorship ticket on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2020.
But to be sure, “Cappy”, has been largely engrossed in growing his businesses and adding values to his efficient service delivery records both in and outside Nigeria. I can modestly claim some access to him and he has not, for once, shared with me any such thought or plan. Interestingly, those who are afraid of certain possibility that potentially threatens their position are the ones conjuring the thought and plan for him.
It is therefore the height of imprudent strategic politics to attack a man who has kept to his own space with a view to drawing him out to talk about issues that are political and for which he has yet to develop passion or interest. I must weigh in at this point that Captain Hosa that I know is a straightforward individual who does not shy away from taking on responsibility for his intentions or actions, knowing full well that they are what define character.
I concur with this assertion, which was once reinforced by H.L. Dietrich in his eternal saying that “We are all victims, Anselmo. Our destinies are decided by the cosmic rolls of the dice, the winds of the stars, the vagrant breezes of fortune that blow from the windmills of the gods.” The cosmic, the winds, breezes of fortune and the windmills of the gods are significant in the contemplation and consideration of any form of voyage, be it economic or political.
Captain Hosa is thus not an insular individuality to be taken out of the existential contexts that these factors ramify. Consequently, if he is interested in contesting the forthcoming Edo governorship in 2020 or any time thereafter, by now, he might have appropriately put the issue in the public domain, without dithering since he must have counted the cost and been largely convinced of his decision.
It is interesting to observe that in a haze of partisan frenzy, there is the penchant to resort to all manner of propaganda, outright lies and half-truth in furtherance of some devious agenda. In putting together this third party response or intervention, pro bono publico, I am quite mindful of the tentative political condition in my dear state of Edo. The crisis in the APC political family, fuelled by some prominent stakeholders in the state chapter of the party is unfortunate. Stakeholders must explore all reasonable avenues to come to an amicable resolution of the crisis.
And, this process must be all inclusive. The decision to save the APC family must be catholic in nature, texture and content. If it requires a great deal of sacrifices, all and sundry must be ready to commit to the process. I must, however, state that nobody should be intimidated or even pampered in the task of salvaging the APC in Edo from those who have constituted themselves to bulls in a China shop.
However, let me take this opportunity to assume, without conceding, that in the event Captain Hosa decides to throw his hat in the ring, he would not have been considered a non-starter by virtue of his antecedents and pedigree. And, if he does not join the governorship fray, it would not be that he could not have done so. It would just be that he considers tendering to his business empires and other acts of charity as equally important and satisfying in building a legacy of value addition to humanity and for appreciation by posterity.
Significantly, these are all conjectures until the man himself speaks or refuses to speak. The late MKO Abiola was wont to mouth the proverb that says: “The hairs on the head of a man cannot be shaven in his absence.” So, it is for Captain Hosa. We are all guilty of trying to shave him clean in his absence. However, I believe that, regardless of rumours doing the round, Edo people should maintain their calm and keep hope alive until they get to the bridge before determining how to cross it.
Edo State is politically sophisticated and the people know what they want. No one can take the people for granted or lead them by the nose in the direction of selfish and bigoted ends. The people will always be in the picture of how their destinies will be forged. And, as for Captain Hosa, I am sure he would be amused about the rumours doing the round and relating with them as mere wishes and imaginations of their authors to cause a needless distraction of focus from deploying his expanding business empire in bolstering economic growth of the nation.
▪ Ojeifo contributed this piece from Abuja via email@example.com