Captain Idahosa Okunbor’s death has robbed Edo people of its illustrious son
Among Nigeria’s billionaires, Edo State’s Idahosa Okunbor is renowned for his philanthropy and care, especially for Edo people. The man popularly known as Captain Hosa, sadly passed on over the weekend in London after months of battle with pancreatic cancer.

Captain Hosa was a thorough bred Edo man who loved his people. In 1988 when he left flying commercial planes to set up his private business in the Nigerian oil and gas industry little did anyone envisage the quantum of success he recorded until death.

His Ocean and Marine Security Limited provided jobs for hundreds of youths not just from Edo but across the country. His investment of millions of dollars in green house farming and agro business in Edo State has been the talking point for the late Captain Hosa. This venture alone has provided job opportunities for Edo indigenes in the past years.

To demonstrate how he impacted the lives of the people, Captain Hosa was very close to the palace and the Benin Monarch Oba Ewuare II. I can say without an iota of contradiction that Captain Hosa cherished the Benin tradition so much that he flaunt it everywhere he goes.

I can’t forget that record he waxed himself, eulogising Ewuare II, the rich Edo culture and people. I can testify that he held court and was often times in the good company of the Oba.

Captain Hosa touched lives of Edo people with his wealth through his philanthropic endeavour. I can’t forget a particular incident in which his Majesty Oba Ewuare in his last months as Ambassador of Nigeria to Italy, had urged me to call one Edo citizen who is a friend of mine, and on a trip to Nigeria, he personally introduced this citizen to Captain Hosa in Abuja as “one of our sons who is making us proud in Italy.”

This friend of mine who later recounted his experience to me said Captain Hosa was so elated that an Edo citizen in the diaspora could be spoken highly of by his Majesty. While exchanging contact with my friend, your guess is as good as mine, the complimentary card landed in his hand with wad of currency – don’t ask me which colour the notes bore!

That was how Captain Hosa rocked. His philanthropic deeds prompted the University of Benin to conferred him with an honorary Doctoral Degree for his contributions and benevolence to humanity.

When the then Governor of Edo State Adams Oshiohmole was selling the candidacy of his then political godson Godwin Obaseki to Edo people, one person he approached was Captain Hosa. When Obaseki tabled his ambitious programme, the deceased always wanting the best for Edo, quickly threw his weight behind the Governor, plus with funds of course. Sadly Obaseki and Captain Hosa later crossed swords. I’m not sure they reconciled before his death. Captain Hosa was 63.