In The Valley Of The Gun

In The Valley of the Gun.

Early last week, Captain Hosa Okunbo took out an advertorial in several Nigerian Newspapers stating that the governor of Edo State was posing a threat to his life and his business interests. He went on to enumerate many instances to buttress his points.

I have read the governor’s reply and to me, it reads like a letter from a Mafia boss. Essentially, he was telling the Captain that there can be only one captain in Edo State and that captain is not Captain Hosa.

I love this governor. He reminds me of Clint Eastwood. “Go ahead,” he said, “Make my day.” The only difference here is that this is not Hollywood and neither is he an actor. Sir, someone needs to remind you that the State was entrusted to you for safe keeping, for preservation and for progress. It is not a personal property. So, when the governor begins to use words like “do or die,” “Fight to finish,” “Epic battle,” it makes me wonder if he knows the height, the depth and the extent of power that has been entrusted to him.

Let it be known that just as Captain Hosa tried to mediate the fight between Obaseki and Oshiomhole, Royal fathers tried. Many notable people from around the country tried including, I was authoritatively informed, the richest man in the country. Every single time, it was said, they were met with a certain level of belligerence on the part of Obaseki. It is reported that the President also tried but failed to convince him otherwise.

Out the gate, Obaseki was determined to be rid of The Godfather and I understand the sentiment. No man who is worth his salt wants you to give him a goat whilst the giver is still holding on to the rope. I understand that also but Obaseki brought all of these troubles upon himself when he tagged himself a technocrat and virtually asked Oshiomhole to manage the politics of the State to enable him focus on governance.

This is where I stand. I do not like Godfathers. I wish we did not have them. The reality however, is that they are right now, indispensable to our political system. For as long as we depend on a few people or one person to write the cheque to finance an election, the financier will demand blood in return. This is where we, the people must step up. We must begin to dip our hands in our pockets to fund candidates for elections. Until we start to do that, we cannot get rid of Godfathers.

Can anyone imagine a scenario where Obaseki concludes a second term and he would just walk away into the sunset? In all the States in Nigeria, of all the governors we have had since 1999, only Lucky Igbinedion has truly stepped away and refused to meddle. Only him. Imagine if other States had emulated his great example!

Captain Hosa has been caught in a crossfire. As men go, he has taken a stand. Having failed to convince Obaseki of the futility of a fight with his benefactor, he took a stand to support Osagie Ize-Iyamu primarily because Obaseki had said, “To hell with politicians. I am not interested in a second term.” What happened to cause him to then declare thus: I am demanding a second term because I deserve it? Is that not how politicians speak? Mr. Governor sir, you have become a politician.

About a week and a half ago, my pathway crossed with Captain Hosa’s in my writings as he read one of my articles in support of the Iroko tree, POI. I tried to advise him to stay out of politics. This was the reply Captain Hosa gave to me. “I do not agree with you. I will not stay out of politics. It is selfish to do so. We cannot see our environment decay like this and do nothing about it.”

At this point, I knew we were entering an Ancient Roman arena of Gladiators and a Western movie Alamo-type battle. When the battle stops in the valley of the gun and the smoke clears, only one man will be standing—the man with the fastest gun.

Where does this leave us the people?

These two men are driven in quite the same way. They are both descendants of Benin warriors. They were both in the private sector. Their pathways may or may not have crossed.

As things stand now, if recent history is anything to go by, the governor is prepared for a fight to finish. If however, he has learned anything from his recent fight to finish which still saw him going to bow before a nominating committee chaired by his declared enemy, then, I dare to say he is not a true warrior.
A true warrior counts the cost and is prepared to pay the price.

Captain Hosa in his declaration to me that he will not stay out has chosen to take a stand. He knows the price. He understands how these things work. He is dug in. The River Rubicon has been crossed by the forces of Julius Caesar. There is no turning back.

Captain Hosa is a very blessed man. He says so himself. This blessing which causes him to be a blessing to many also nurtures the warrior in him.

In every generation, quite a number of people are blessed so much more than others. Captain is one of those. However, very few step up to extend a hand to others around them in a meaningful way to leave a lasting impact as he goes out of his way to do.

In the parables, we see the story of the Good Samaritan. On his way to doing his own business, he saw a man who had been robbed and beaten and left for dead. A Priest and a Levite walked by when they could have offered help.

The lot then fell on an outsider, a person who was not remotely related to the victim, to offer help.

It is not everyday we come across a Good Samaritan. They are a rarity in humanity. An MKO Abiola, A Baba Oloye Olusola Saraki, people who having been blessed, take it upon themselves as a duty to bless others. These two were also fighters.

Our own son, Captain Hosa Okunbo has earned his way into this rare club of humanity among our people—- A helper and a fighter.

The minions of the governor have gone all out, no holds barred, to drag his name in the mud. They have drawn first blood. The governor however, needs to be reminded that —The season of politics is a short one but the season of need for our countless youth and helpless aged never runs out.

What is not in doubt is the great role Captain Hosa and others like him play in helping to engender societal harmony, peace and security through empowerment programs and scholarships for our youth, succor for Edo women and help for the aged.

A man skilled in the art of governance, could have had all the foreign investment he has been traveling all over the place to look for at a simple dinner of pounded yam with pepper soup and fine wine with a man of immense wealth like Captain Hosa.

When we were in secondary school, I heard the expression for the first time in Class 3—-When two Elephants fight, the grass suffers. This fight will end on September the 19th. May the people of Edo win.

Michael Ovienmhada. Author, Poet, Playwright and Public Affairs Commentator. I write because I am involved.
Email: omeekey@hotmail.com.



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In The Valley Of The Gun In The Valley Of The Gun Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on July 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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