RIGHT OF REPLY TO CAPT. HOSA OKUNBO’S SURROGATE, PRINCE EMMANUEL ODIGIE

“You cannot let praise or criticism get to you. It is a weakness to get caught up in either one” John Wooden
“Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let criticism get to your heart” Lysa Terkeurst
“If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business not kindness” Anonymous
I am not sure who Emmanuel Odigie is, whether a sponsored writer or not, it really does not matter. Only the truth matters at this time in our history, when the fight over the soul of Edo state from the hands of self-seeking, regressive and dark elements is one that must be won. Edo cannot return to agberos and agbero enablers.
Since Emmanuel Odigie is awash with knowledge about Osaro Onaiwu and his relationship with Capt. Hosa Okunbo, I will try in this right of reply to remind him of some things he may have left out rather conveniently as I know both men and will objectively state the issues as I see them without writing like a performer seeking to please an audience of one; the payer.
It is not news that Osaro Onaiwu supports the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki while Capt Hosa supports his opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. Do not be deceived, that is the matter at stake. It is credit to Osaro Onaiwu that every statement he has made in reaction to Capt Hosa’s actions, advertorials and videos strictly addressed the issues as it affects the campaign and the people of Edo state as he sees it. Never once has he come to the low of dragging family into the discuss. It is evident that money sure doesn’t buy class. The American supreme court ruled that money is an expression of freedom of speech which is a classic example of how Capt. Hosa is showing his support for his candidate. If Osaro Onaiwu does not have the money Capt has, can he not be allowed to use his voice to support Gov. Obaseki?
I am forced to believe that the sin Osaro has committed is to dare oppose the “god”, Capt. Hosa Okunbo. I did not know Edo has become so repressed that because a man is wealthy and has perhaps been of help to his friends at one time or the other, they cannot oppose him politically, because in Odigie’s book of values, accepting friendship charity from Capt. Hosa means you have sold him your soul, your self esteem and your belief in any cause unless he approves. Conditions should have been attached to the gifts. This is a warning to other friends of Capt Hosa like me who have accepted social favours that friends do for friends that he keeps a ledger of his charity that he refers to anytime you disagree with him. We have a song in Bini that calls God “Orhuese ne gbokan”(the giver that doesn’t taunt). Thank God Capt. Hosa is not the good Lord, I am sure Emmanuel Odigie will be advising him to shut down Osaro Onaiwu’s oxygen. Thank God Capt. Hosa has nothing to do with the progress Osaro Onaiwu has made in his political life. Osaro as the youngest political appointee to the late Gov. Ogbemudia, Special Assistant to the late Admiral August Aikhomu, campaign strategist to General Buhari’s campaign in 2003, becoming DG of the Nigeria Governors’ forum, Special Adviser to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Chief of Protocol for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential campaign in 2019 all happened without Capt. Hosa’s knowledge or assistance. Thank God for that.
I have known the Onaiwu family for as long as I have known Capt. Okunbor and I will ask them to forgive me if what I will say now sinks me to the same low as Odigie and his classless mentor whose giving is transactional and held as leverage over the receiver. I have been a witness to how members of the Onaiwu family have been of help to many people with the humble resources they have and I have never heard them go to the public square to announce their help. Even Capt will be surprised to hear that his boys, CY and Chris Okaeben started out as beneficiaries of Osaro and Etinosa’s large hearts, but you will never hear the Onaiwus say a word of this history. The late great Dr. Osagie Onaiwu whose brilliance is widely acknowledged and nicknamed Fountain of Knowledge during his days in medical school at the university of Lagos had his beloved memory stained by people who can only dream of his intelligence and integrity. Those of us close to the Onaiwu family know Dr. Onaiwu was born with sickle cell and yet that did not prevent him from achieving his goals and anyone reading Odigie’s idiocy in print will think Capt Hosa is the one that kept Dr. Onaiwu alive from birth till be passed on at 62. Friends of Capt Hosa beware, any contribution to your parents’ funeral or child’s wedding has been shown to be a purchase of your voice and unquestioned loyalty even if it means leading you to be part of destroying our heritage as Binis.
This classless behaviour of expecting something in return for any gift is perhaps what gave Capt. Okunbo the audacity to mobilize thugs to the gate of the revered Oba’s palace to attack Gov. Obaseki and his guests. In Capt’s low mentality, his thinking is after all he supports the palace financially and so he should be able to bring the thugs he mobilized from his house to fulfil the boast he made to some of us that he will disgrace Obaseki at the palace.
Odigie also made a play of words describing Osaro Onaiwu as ungrateful. I will highlight a few instances I am aware of and allow the reader to judge who is an ingrate here. There are certain favours that money cannot buy. For example, was Osaro ungrateful when he stayed in Benin with Capt Hosa for weeks planning his daughter’s wedding without demanding a dime or further back in history was Osaro ungrateful when he was taking food to Capt Hosa then an NDLEA detainee in Ilupeju? I wonder how many friends made that shuttle. What about taking Capt’s girlfriend to Ikoyi prison for conjugal visits when Capt Hosa was moved there? Was Osaro also ungrateful then? So if Capt Hosa was there for the Onaiwus, maybe he alone knows why and people like Emannuel Odigie who chose Capt as a mentor in good times should also learn to know more about Capt. Hosa’s bad times and the people that were there for him at such times and examine how much gratitude he has shown such people like Noel Ojei, Capt. Jide George, Sonny Asemota, President Goodluck Jonathan etc whose stories are for another day. The late Lucky Omoluwa put his property up as a guarantee when Capt Hosa was barred from travelling by the federal government in 2015 and when the man died, Capt Hosa did not even bother to show up at the man’s funeral. Is that not an exemplary ingrate?
Emmanuel Odigie mentioned the Ikeja days in his malicious write up, but failed his history test which I will help him correct here. In Ikeja in the 90s, Osaro Onaiwu was already an employer of labour with known businesses like Dreamline Cellular, Green Cab Services and Garbage Speed Clearing, but interestingly this is the same era that Capt. Hosa Okunbo had no visible means of income despite his verbose lifestyle.
Like I said I am a friend of both men and I have a better history of both that I cannot exhaust today, but I cannot stand by and allow political differences to be used as an excuse to denigrate a respected and humble family. Osaro Onaiwu is not a saint, but Osaro Onaiwu has never been detained for any criminal activity nor has he had any reason to procure judgments to try erase a history of encounters with an agency of the law. Let civility reign for the sake of mutual respect. You do not embark on a smear campaign when you know the smear on you is inexhaustive. Accepting that friends and family can differ in politics is not only maturity, but civilised. Well hey, when Odigie’s mentor now romances agberos, maybe the civilised part is long gone.
Osadolor Aigbokan writes from Ikeja, Lagos State

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