Tag Archives: Edo politics

Osaro Onaiwu, Politics aside, respect your elders!

By Dominic Osaigbovo Okuosa

Last night, I was shocked to come across a tweet made by an otherwise respectable Edo-born gentleman, Earl Osaro Onaiwu, against our mentor and the elder statesman, Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo.

In the tweet, Onaiwu said “#Edo2020, Captain Hosa Okubo(sic), don’t bring the wolves out, keep your last integrity”, and he signed it with his name.

For a man of Onaiwu’s standing to stoop so low and tacitly insult Captain Okunbo in the name of politics is a joke taken too far.

Captain Okunbo is certainly not a man to run his name down for the crumbs of politics.

He has paid his dues in building a business empire, and is using same to build sustain the image of Edo indigenes.

Captain Hosa has been honored with the prestigious Global Peace Award, in Geneva, Switzerland, by H. E. Robert Blum, in recognition of his efforts in global peace and business innovations. He was bestowed with the prestigious Order of Lafayette award at the United Nations day for Global Peace. The Order of Lafayette is a patriotic, hereditary, nonpartisan, and fraternal organization established in New York City in 1958 by Colonel Hamilton Fish III (1888-1991), a former Congressman from New York and decorated veteran of the First World War.

He started out his eventful professional life as commercial jet plane pilot at 21, logging almost 10,000 hours of flying time and flying with several airlines including the defunct Nigeria Airways. He ventured into agriculture where his company, Wells Hosa Farm Limited, has invested millions of dollars in green house farming and agro-allied business in Edo State. Wells Hosa Farm Green House project is now operational and attracting off-shore interest from the US government.

Wells Farm Limited has about 9000 hectares farmland in Edo State that would in the end be built into an agricultural park. The investment is so big that it is projected in the first instance to generate 25,000 jobs, with a capacity to create over 60,000 indirect jobs. In the sea, he has over fifty sea vessels, both for security and crude oil movements. His companies; Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd and OMS Tankers Ltd wrought wonders in bailing out NNPC from its challenge when he had to move crude in marine vessels to the refineries in Warri and Port Harcourt as oil pipelines were massively vandalized.

For over 15 years now, his company, OMS Tankers Ltd, has supported in raising the level of oil production in Nigeria and its sustenance by providing dedicated and efficient security solutions for offshore production assets of the major international oil companies operating in the country.

To this end, Captain Hosa not only invests heavily in Edo land, especially in his farms, he also repatriated his earnings home for the overall development of Edo State.

Getting an international, a global peace price is no mean feat, and Hosa has always demonstrated in word and deed that he does not have time for unnecessary fights. Why Onaiwu is dragging his name about is what we do not know yet.

Earl on the other hand, has risen too in the annals of Edo fame, having served as the Coordinating Consultant of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum(no mean feat), the CEO of runs a protocol company, a fashion outfit, and a real estate, leasing and sales company in Abuja.

Onaiwu must understand that the fact that his companies serve the affluent is not enough an achievement to begin running his mouth against a colossus like Captain Wells Hosa Okunbo.

In Abuja, Onaiwu lives like a king, and is supposed to command respect. In 2016, he even stood up tall to run for the highest elective position in Edo State- he wanted to become our governor! But this is a man, with all his name, fame and pomp, does not own a house of his own!

Yes, let me say it here for those who don’t know- Earl Osaro Onaiwu has been junketing from rented apartment to another rented apartment. He understands what leadership is all about but he cannot boast of a place to call home. This is unbecoming of a man who should understand what leadership means in Edo State. A man of his standing, of Edo origin, am sure understands what it means to be the leader, first of a family, a kindred, a community, and a people. But I am befuddled that a man who cannot even boast of his own house, four years after he ran for governorship of our state sees himself as an authority regarding what happens politically in Edo land.

And yet, Captain Hosa, in all humility, has continued to insist that his name should not be dragged in the mud of political arguments. Why Onaiwu masticating on his name, and even mentioning wolves side by side his name is what shocks me. If I may ask, what wolves? Just be aware that we don’t do wolves in Edo land. We do leopards and lions, it it’s not time for war yet.

Take caution sir, because if you stretch out the hand of battle against our beloved mentor and respected statesman, we will tell you, and also prove to you that WE DEFEND OUR OWN BY EVERY MEANS NECESSARY. As you chew on your next meal, ruminate over this.

Leave Captain Hosa alone, let none play with the tail of the napping leopard.

Okuosa, a public affairs analyst writes from Benin City, Edo State capital.

Let Capt Hosa Okunbo Have His Peace, says Bini Coalition Movement (BCM)

Capt. Hosa Okunbo is an illustrious Bini son who has a very humble beginning. Over the years, he has been able to carve a niche himself without blemish for through genuine businesses and philanthropic gestures.

It is sad to note that some persons of questionable character have continued to drag the name of this noble personality into Edo Politics, and many times, he has come out to condemn allegations of partisan politicking.

It is imperative bring abreast to the public that Capt. Hosa Okunbor cannot play sentimental politics and he sees every contestant in the coming gubernatorial election as his friend and brother, and that even in a family there are also the good, the bad and ugly.

So, Capt Hosa’s name should not be dragged in the mud by wicked and unscrupulous elements into a situation where he can’t be free to exercise his fundamental human rights of who to vote for or support in the forthcoming elections in Edo State.

We the above named association want to condemn such absurdity and malicious allegations against our beloved Edo son and therefore insist that these people of questionable characters should henceforth desist from dragging him into Edo politics and persistent negative attacks.

The general public should please take note and disregard all negative attacks bent on discrediting his personality which he laboured tirelessly over the years to build.

We urge and encourage Capt. Hosa Okunbor not to relent or be distracted in his vision of actualising Greater Edo.

Oba a tor kpe e!.. Ise!!

Bini Coalition Movement (BCM)

No more room for corrupt politicians in Edo State – Edo Indigenes

The Edo Indigenes Movement Worldwide (EIM), under the auspices of Edo Progressive Indigenous Association(EPIA) has said that the era of godfatherism has ended in Edo State.

Reacting to the latest political upheaval between the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, EPIA President, Chief Bishop E Edokpolo said EPIA is rolling out measures to check any act of corruption in the state and block loss of funds belonging to Edo people.

Edokpolo also added “As we head to the forthcoming elections, we further advise Edo youths not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to hurt one another because, at the end we will need each other. We also call on our indigenes worldwide to stop the habit of presenting the image of Edo Indigenes negatively, especially on social media.

“If you don’t know, the effect will come back to hurt our generations, let us instead advertise more of our positive images to encourage and attract investors to our kingdom”, he stated.

I have not joined any other political party yet – Obaseki

The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has stated that he has not decamped to any political party to seek re-election.

Obaseki made this known in a statement he authored and released via his Twitter account on Wednesday.

The governor added that his main focus is to control the spread of COVID-19 ravaging the country and not the governorship election slated for September in his state.
He said: “I have not moved to a new platform yet to seek re-election.

“My focus now is to control the spread of the coronavirus (#COVID19) pandemic, which is ravaging our country and threatening our healthcare system.”

However, Godwin Obaseki’s latest revelation came after the suspension of his political adversary, Adams Oshiomhole, as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, on Tuesday.

Obaseki also announced his resignation from the APC on Tuesday. However, the party said they have no record of his deregistration as of Tuesday.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Comrade Patrick Eholor opens up on OSHIOMHOLE, OBASEKI, IZE-IYAMU, OGBEIDE-IHAMA and Edo Governorship 2020

Comrade Patrick Osagie Eholor is the Founder and President, One

Love Foundation, Nigeria, which he founded in 2000 for justice and human rights campaigns across Nigeria.

A social crusader, he believes that the purpose of life is making the world a better place where there is no master or slave, high or low caste but one global community of love and justice that is truly a melting-pot of caring humanity for

one another irrespective of race, tribe, skin colour, religion and station of birth.

Through his crusades, he compelled the government between 2007 and 2016 to provide amenities and infrastructure to Edo Oil producing communities including Gelegele, in Ovia North East council area.

In 2008, he organized, single-handedly and funded a One Million Man protest that shut down

the busiest public highway in Africa, the 247km BBC oft-reported Lagos-Benin Expressway, to bring Nigeria’s Federal Government attention to perilous conditions of the road. This resulted in stormy national parliamentary debates and

a #300billion presidential budget approval for rehabilitation and reconstruction of deplorable spans of the road.

He has been constantly appearing in the media to speak on politics, human rights, and philanthropy and is actually behind campaigns like ‘One Man One Vote’ popularised by Oshiomhole, Close-their-Legs, Open-their-Brains campaign

against sex-for-marks trauma and abuse of women by lecturers,
Freedom of information, police reforms, and others.

He filed a suit which eventually prevented the then Governor Adams Oshiomhole from selling Edo House in Lagos, and is currently in a litigation against Governor Godwin Obaseki, to make public and to justify additional #38billion

state loan and projects spent in the meagre projects on ground, among others.

In October, 2019, he received the African Award for Exponential

Human Rights Advocacy from Africa Bar Association (ABA), in far away Liberia, where he was hosted by

President George Weah.

Eholor ran for governorship in Edo State under the Labour Party in 2012, and was leader of the party from 2007 to 2014.

He was also the Deputy Director General of Atikulated Agenda 2019, which led a campaign in support of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and is a member, Amnesty International and patron, African Bar Association.

Depsite claiming to be non-aligned politically at the moment, Comrade Eholor here speaks eloquently on the current state of things in Edo politics, especially as it concerns APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize – Iyamu(who may run under the APC) as well as the Oredo LG Representative in the House of Representatives, Abuja, Honourable Ogbeide Ihama, who is being tipped to contest for governorship under the PDP.

Excerpts:

You have been showing very strong support for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu since he moved to the All Progressive Congress. Bearing in mind that you were on the frontline in the Atiku Abubakar campaigns, we want to know if you have moved to the APC?

No. We have to do things not along party likes anymore, but across party lines. That’s why I am hoping that one of these days we will have independent candidates where people like you can contest.

Having said that, my support for Ize-Iyamu is not strange. Ize-Iyamu is not the only one am supporting. I am supporting every good aspirant for the sake of the ordinary citizens. So I don’t want you to have an idea that I am now a card carrying member of the APC. I am not APC, I don’t have their card, and I have no interest in having their card.

I am not PDP, and I have no interest in having their card. But I am an electorate who duly registered for the purpose of voting for a credible candidate.

The elections are coming up later this year, and we remember that years back, you ran for governorship of Edo State under the platform of Labour Party. Are we to see more of you in the elections this year?

No, I am not running at all. I have no interest in contenting, I want to marry my business, I want to uplift the lives of many, I want to be focused, I am into farming, and I am enjoying it. I am in the entertainment industry such as hotels, plaza. I love what I am doing and I will be working with the politicians from that distance.

What are the reasons why you will be rooting for Pastor Ize Iyamu, if he runs for governorship?

First of all, if the APC doesn’t do concessions and wants to do primaries, Ize Iyamu is not the only person. He hasn’t been anointed…

What if he wins the primaries?

If he wins, he who the cap fits should wear it. I will want to know if Obaseki is running for second term, who is running in the other political parties, like the PDP then I will tell you what I am going to do. There might be a better candidate, as a matter of fact, Ize Iyamu has never told us that he is perfect. I have also not given him perfection mark yet. I have s lot of followers and they will follow me to support that one who we know is going to give them the dividends of democracy.

I am not sure I can answer your question honesty because I won’t want to be that one who gives you information and then refuted it tomorrow.

But at this point in time, is there a better aspirant than those we have in Edo State right now?

There are so many. When you use the word better, you don’t what to cast aspersions or insult anyone’s intelligence. What you want to say is, is there a more profiled person who understands governance, and enjoys experience too. If you ask me that question, I will tell you categorically that Ize Iyamu is the one, a technocrat, a pastor and a politician who can make a difference in the lives of those he will govern. I can tell you that categorically.

With the grand followership you enjoy in Edo State, whoever you support in the elections will go a long way towards victory. So let me ask you now, if you are to support Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, what will be your reasons?

I want to use an illustration. There is a fine gentleman that walked in while you were conducting this interview, Alhaji Suleiman. Though from the North, Alhaji don’t see a disparity between the northerners and southerners. He does not discriminate. So if you are going to have an election today and you bring a Bini man and Suleiman, I will vote for Suleiman, because I can attest to his character.

The point I am trying to make is that if there will be reasons to vote for Ize Iyamu, one is his foundation. Foundation is that key in life. His father was prominent, a high chief, and also taught his children respect and values. He taught them that in life, you must make people feel important in order to be important. And Ize Iyamu has those qualities.
He has lived life like every other person has lived life, but he decided to embrace God that he rose to become a man of God. He has a beautiful wife and children. That woman is a professor in Dentistry, and is very responsible.

When you show me your friends, I will tell you who you are. I want to say that if there is no candidate who has an outstanding profile to stand side by side with Ize Iyamu’s, my best choice will be Ize Iyamu.

But if there are other candidates who can also give us their profiles to match and to compare, we can then make a decision who will be our first and last candidates to rally round.

Let’s digress a little. What issues do you have with Governor Godwin Obaseki?

You are not the first person that is asking me this question. Some people came to visit me from World Bank, they were working on a project to channel our water problems to Ogba River. I asked them that I hope the governor is not involved in it. They said why the question and I said because I already have a case against Obaseki in the court. So the man asked me what issue I have with the governor. I said no, I don’t have any issue with the governor. That brings me back to what I said about Ize Iyamu, or about our father, Anthony Anenih(May his soul rest in peace) or Adams Oshiomhole. Oshimhole has his own flaws. Even Donald Teump has his flaws. But when you want to govern the people, you must be close to them, you must know those you want to govern. Obaseki is too far from those he wants to govern.

Obaseki came to power and said ‘I don’t want any politican in Government House, they are all thieves. That’s very harsh. If there is no criminal, there will be no need for police. If the borders are not porous, there will be no need for Customs. So if you are a politician, you need the good, the bad and the ugly and try to change the bad to good in the society. Obaseki has good tendencies to see what he can do as a business man, he is a businessman. He knows how to manage funds but doesn’t know how to manage Human Resources.

Obaseki feels that we are not worth it, that he cannot speak to us as Edo people. Trump is currently facing impeachment, he has issues with Iran, he has issues with taxation, yet he speaks with the Press. When last did Obaseki grant a press interview? So if we have a governor who doesn’t have respect for us, who is going to be signing MOU from left and right, who promised to do Gelegele and we didn’t see the light of it, who promised to do some industrial park and we didn’t see it, who was also an Economic Team Manager for Adams Oshiomhole and then borrowed N25billion, and today its bad money.
Government is a continuum, and as I speak with you, I am in court with Adams Oshiomhole, am in court with Clem Agba, and I am in court with him. I am not here to fight anybody but am here to represent my people. So personally I don’t have any grudges with him, I have profound respect for Oshiomhole because he interacts with the people.

Obaseki has been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The deep blue sea is his deputy Philip Shaibu and the SSG, Barrister Osarodion Ogie. So you can’t be in the midst of these people and succeed. They are saying they are going to use what Oshiomhole taught them to win elections.

If Oshiomhole taught you what’s wrong, must you use it? Interact with your people and transform the state. That’s where I have issues with the government, but I don’t have a personal issue with Obaseki. I love him and I respect him.

There are those who believe that Governor Obaseki May lose the APC ticket and also not be able to get the PDP ticket. From your own permutations, what do you see?

I am not Nostradamus but I can predict the future. Even if accidentally, Godwin Obaseki gets ticket, he will lose the elections. He can never be a second term governor. He cannot get the APC ticket. The only reason he could have gotten the ticket is if the coupe de tat they are planning works, if they are able to dethrone Oshiomhole by February, it will determine his getting ticket.

In as much as Oshiomhole remains the national chairman, and is recognized in Abuja, it will be difficult for him to fight. Because the national working committee has said ‘we recognize you as the Edo State Governor, but we also recognize Oshiomhole in Abuja, as the National Chariman to us. So now, can you supersede your father?

The state government is superior to the local government, the federal is superior to state. The only way, if it’s possible is if Buhari drops Oshiomhole. But I can’t even imagine that. Is there any reason you know that will make Buhari drop him?

Adams Oshiomhole has played his own roles- he won Kogi, he won Bayelsa, he dethroned Saraki, he fought Okorocha, and he might have lost some key states for the same issues we are having today.

He has fought generals and he conquered them. As it is, Governor Obaseki will be a walk over for Adams Oshiomhole.

What about the PDP ticket? Don’t you think they can give it to him?

I have heard that the chairman, Dan Orbih that their ticket is going to be given to the most credible candidate and they are not going to welcome any new person to come and steal their ticket. That insinuation is going on, and I also know that Honorable Ogbeide-Ihama will give them a run for their money. He is very serious about the coming elections and have warned the PDP that they should not play any pranks on him. I know they young man to be very smart and very articulate.

You are a civil society activist and has been very actively leading an organization. What does One Love Foundation stand for?

When you talk about a foundation, there are those who think it’s just about feeding the people in IDP camps or it’s only about those who can’t eat. We have been doing this for 25 years now.

Over a decade ago, we led a protest to Bénin-Lagos road and I called the attention of the federal government and they put in over 300 billion to make sure the road becomes motorable. Even though there are still issues on the toad now, they heard us and worked on that road. I also went to a place called Gelegele, it’s like Oloibiri, where they discovered the second oil well. People there were impoverished and never regarded. I made sure that they were compensated and the roads are built. Though the road is bad again now. We have also led a campaign to reform the police. I am not in the police but we police the police, because you as a civilian has to police the police. But we are leading a campaign to stop extrajudicial killings. You don’t have a right to stop anyone saying they are doing 419 and you want to check their phones. That’s barbaric, that’s not humane. For that reason they have been killing innocent people if you don’t give them money.
Also too, the police are being over used, over stretched, over abused, over disrespected, they have no guns, they have no shoes, they have no patrol vans, they have no bullets and that is making them very unhappy. So they are transferring their aggression to the citizens. Otherwise, Nigerian police is the best all over the world when it comes to human intelligence but the government has failed the police.

We need to look at this area, and besides that, I go to hospitals and pay bills for those who cannot afford, cloth the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the distressed and visit those who are in jail.
My scope in the foundation has no limits.

Lastly, let it be on record that I have no issues against Obaseki other than governance. People think I am fighting him, but that’s not true. All I want is good governance. No man fought Oshiomhole the way I did. Oshiomhole has his flaws but he is a good man.

We went to Lagos when they wanted to sell Edo house and we stopped it.

Oshiomhole was one of the first civilized governors to call for a town hall meeting in Nigeria. We were asking Oshiomhole questions and he was asking us back. He was close to our heart and knew our pains. He will go himself and inspect roads and say that they are bad, and there were a lot of roads that NDDC and others are doing badly, and Obaseki can’t even put up a team to monitor them.