The press release touched on very sensitive issues which have been itemised for careful analysis & discourse. As promised in our introductory piece, the reports shall be serialized, with one issue taken & treated in each report. Let’s go…
CAPTAIN ACCUSES OBASEKI OF ATTEMPTING TO BURN DOWN HIS FARM.
In our effort to address this serious allegation of security and business importance, Engr. Lukman immediately reached out and conversed with all parties involved:
CONVERSATION WITH CAPT HOSA
A call was placed to Capt. Hosa to arrange an appointment. Hosa said he was in Lagos to see his grandson, and thereafter, he would proceed to Abuja. He then suggested that the matter be discussed on the phone. After the initial felicitations, Lukman fired the first salvo: “Uncle Hosa, I’ve just gone through your long treatise and I found many of the issues very disturbing. First & foremost, you just accused our governor, the chief security of the state, of attempting to burn down your farm investment. How true is this? Do you have witnesses to confirm this? And Hosa responded: “My brother Lukman, yes I have witnesses. When the threat came, I reported the matter to Osarodion, the SSG and I also called Haruna, the SA Security to the Governor”. “And what was their response?”, Lukman asked. “They deployed Policemen to protect the farm”, Hosa answered. And Lukman continued: “You see, Uncle Hosa, I’m aware of this issue of an attempt to burn your farm because I was in government house the day you had that conversation with Haruna, the SA Security. We were discussing Okpella security issue bordering on a recent cult killings when the governor called him. After the call, Haruna jumped up and said: ‘Lukman, sorry I’ve to rush to see the CP (commissioner of police) now. Oga (governor) has just directed me to meet the CP and mobilize the police to secure Captain’s farm at the bypass. Let’s continue with this Okpella matter later’. Lukman continued with Hosa: “so, uncle Hosa, how possible that the same governor who gave marching orders to his security aide to protect your farm is now the one you’re accusing of attempting to burn it? Are you sure you’re fair to him?”. Hosa answered: “Lukman, I agree with you on the first incidence which your narrative confirmed that you’re are aware of it, but there are two more incidence which you may not know of.” And Lukman interjected: “did you also report the two other incidences to SSG for onward report to the governor as you did in the first case?” To this, Hosa couldn’t give any reasonable answer. Anyway, we ended the conversation on a friendly, brotherly note with Lukman nursing an inconclusive takeaway in his mind.
CONVERSATION WITH GOV. OBASEKI
Lukman met the governor at his residence in Osadebey Avenue. Despite his very tight schedule, the governor managed to grant Lukman about 45 minutes of his time. In attendance in the meeting were Ethan Uzamere, his chief of staff and Haruna Yusuf, his SA Security. First Lukman brought up the issue of Okpella roads, Lukman doesn’t joke with Okpella matter any time he has such opportunity. Lukman thanked the governor for ensuring the completion of Afokpella/Ward 7 road and the 700m SEEFOR PLUS road in Ward 8, and then made a serious case for the other roads connecting Wards 5 & 6, which are presently in terrible shape. After the governor gave some positive insights and concrete plans on how he must complete Okpella roads during his second term, it was time for the business of the day. And Lukman put his harmless rifle on rapid and fired 3 shots: “Your Excellency, why did you attempt to burn down Captain Hosa’s farm? Why did you conspire with the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to cancel the Anchorage contract owned by an Edo son, Capt Hosa Okunbo? Again, why did you threaten Hosa to stay clear from your feud with Oshiomhole, else he incurs collateral damage?” These were not the type of confrontational shots the governor expected from one ‘little boy’ called Lukman. And in his house for that matter! It takes some uncommon guts to come to a governor’s house to confront him with such uncommon shots, as if one has some uncommon relationship with an uncommon Godswill Akpabio of uncommon Akwa Ibom state. But with his usual infectious humility, Gov. Obaseki refuted the three claims and explained his version of the story. Unknown to him about Lukman’s knowledge of the farm incidence, he mentioned Haruna (his SA Security) and CP Lawan Jimeta (the former commissioner of police, Edo state) as his witnesses and reiterated the directives he gave to protect captain’s farm investment. He wondered how, on one hand, he would be globetrotting to attract investment from foreigners to the state, and, on the other hand, he would be accused of planning to burn down down the one he has prevailed on a son of the soil, a brother and friend, to undertake. He said Hosa was not being fair to him, especially on this particular accusation. On the accusation of conspiring with NPA Management to cancel Hosa’s Anchorage contract, he narrated how Hosa sent him to Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi (the minister for transport that supervises the operations of NPA), how he met with the minister and reverted to Hosa with the ministers response. The governor promised to arrange for Lukman to speak to the minister on the subject, and Lukman told him he had earlier discussed the matter with Hadiza Bala Usman, the Managing Director of the NPA. The governor also mentioned how he made efforts to ensure the reports of the Presidential Committee On Crude Oil Theft, which the governor chaired, did not hurt Hosa’s company. The governor even promised to make the report available to Lukman. On the issue of threatening Hosa to stay away from his feud with Oshiomhole, the governor maintained he never threatened Hosa but that he merely advised him, as a brother, to stay away from it so he won’t incur the collateral wrath of Edo people since Oshiomhole’s godfatherism actions do not sit well with majority of the Edo stakeholders. We concluded the conversation with the governor promising to formally reply Hosa and address the issues raised with as much decorum as possible.
CONVERSATION WITH CP LAWAN JIMETA.
The next morning, Lukman called CP Jimeta, who is now the CP, Bauchi state command. Jimeta confirmed that Mr. Haruna called him on the issue and he promptly mobilized his men to go secure the place. He also confirmed that the governor called him severally to monitor the update on the assignment. Jimeta said that though governor Obaseki is not his friend, but he can confirm that the governor doesn’t joke with security issues.
CONVERSATION WITH OSARIODION OGIE (SSG) & HARUNA YUSUF (SA SECURITY)
Though there is nothing else to confirm from these two officials of government, after Captain Hosa confirmed that they helped in securing his farm from attack, Lukman called them anyway. Both of them confirmed their efforts. However, Haruna said he was the one that called Hosa after acting on the order of the governor, and not the other way round. He said Hosa even gave him the telephone number of the manager of the farm, Mr. Bright Okunbo(r), his junior brother, with which he monitored the diligence of the the policemen he deployed to guard the place.
THE FACTS, THE FALLACIES & THE TAKEAWAY.
From the foregoing, any discerning mind can make the following inferences on this subject:
1. It is a fact that there was a planned attack and it was reported by Hosa and prompt action was taken by the governor to secure the farm from any harm.
2. That it is a fallacy that there were two other planned incidences, as claimed by Hosa, especially considering that he confessed that he did not report such to the governor or any of the security agencies for prompt action.
3. That the takeaway from this exercise is that Captain Hosa’s accusation against Gov. Obaseki of planning to burn down his farm is unfair, unfounded, misplaced and may have have been motivated by some considerations, ranging from the mischievous to the sinister.
THE ACCUSATION OF GOV. OBASEKI CONSPIRING WITH NPA MANAGEMENT TO CANCEL HOSA’s ANCHORAGE CONTRACT.
(Continued in Part 3)
BHR MEDIA TEAM, BENIN BRANCH.