Political Businessmen as Ethnic Champions

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It is now history that ‘Change’ has come to take its roots in Nigeria with the victory of General Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 28 elections. Since then, there have been alignments and realignments by the political class with many quickly dumping the sinking PDP ship to embrace the new bride, APC.

In Edo, the gale of defections saw to the jumping ship of former Governor of the state, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor; gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2012 election in the state, Gen Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), one-time Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula, three-time member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ehioge West-Idahosa, renowned hotelier, Mr Sunny Aguebor, one-time die-hard PDP member Mr Sunny Erengbo and Edo Noth PDP stalwart, Mr Richard Lamai among many others.

While many of the decampees gave several unintelligible reasons for dumping the PDP, others have rather chosen to, while still bona fide members of the PDP, regale the world with their larger-than-life roles and their anti-PDP activities in the elections.

In this class is a certain businessman, of Bini extraction who prefers to see himself as a politician, rather than the businessman he is, even as it is doubtful if he know where his polling booth is or the number of wards in Edo south.

It is amusing that lately, many different syndicated articles have been published praising Captain Hosa Okunbor, or Kapi, of his political sagacity and wizardry; of how he virtually “single-handedly” won Edo South for the PDP in the March 28 elections.

There is no doubt that Kapi played a role in the March 28 election, with the way he rolled out the war chest, dishing out mouth-watering funds through his agents in the PDP to subvert the will of the people.

Of course, Captain Hosa as a businessman had to roll out the cash in his futile bid to ensure the return of Goodluck Jonathan to Aso Rock, knowing full well that only that would ensure the sustenance of his business patronage from Abuja.

However, it must be pointed out that not one chieftain of the PDP in Edo State can claim to have worked hard for the votes recorded for President Goodluck Jonathan in the election. This is because many Edo people, like in the South-South generally, voted based on ethnic affiliation. Captain Hosa knows that the slogan “he is our brother’’ became popular a few days to the election and President Jonathan would still have made a good showing without his money.

The meat of Captain’s syndicated articles is to the effect that he is Bini and he is standing in the gap for the Binis in Abuja. He also said his newfound love is to support another Bini man, national Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and ensure his success. Really?

All the effusive praises heaped on Captain Hosa in the write-ups are so ingenious as to obfuscate his real intentions. Now there are a few posers for him. How is Captain standing in the gap for the Binis in Abuja? What have the Binis gained throughout his ‘standing in the gap’ period? How many ministerial posts or other positions have Captain attracted to the Binis. Is Kapi just becoming aware that Chief Odigie-Oyegun, his brother, a former Governor of Edo State and a fellow Bini man is the National Chairman of the APC? Why did he work against his brother’s interest through the deployment of resources to buy the conscience of the people in the March 28 election?

It is curious that Captain Hosa attributed and arrogated the marginal gain of the PDP in the March 28 election to himself alone. He forgot that others made heavy financial contributions to the election; he forgot that the PDP has never, ever, won any election in Edo state since Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became Governor in 2008. Captain’s case is akin to what Ola Rotimi called “a butterfly thinking himself a bird”, in his classic book, “The gods are not to blame”.  He thinks he is a master of the political game, whereas he and his PDP have been roundly beaten over and again in Edo State.

Captain knows that he is not the leader of the PDP in Edo South, he hardly makes any meaningful contribution to the life of the average Bini man and he definitely is not the leader of the Binis either in the state or in Abuja or even the Diaspora, He should stop arrogating to himself what he is not.

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