.Okunbo

By Ozioruva Aliu

Even in death the philanthropic gestures of the late business mogul, Captain Wells Idahosa Okunbo, are alive.

His children, led by the wife of Olu of Warri, Olori Atuwatse III, and his first son, Osahon Okunbo, are following in his footsteps in that area.

Recently, they visited the Oronsaye Maternity and Orphanage home where the late Okunbo was born 63 years ago.  

They were at the place to present gift items in continuation of a cause their late dad was committed to.

According to the manager of the facility, Patrick Oronsaye, whose mother, a daughter of Oba Eweka II established the place, said the late Okunbo had an emotional attachment to the home.

He said: “This orphanage was founded 70 years ago by my late mum, the daughter of Oba Eweka II and for the 70 years that she operated the orphanage and the maternity, she delivered about 53,000 children including Captain Hosa.”

Speaking, Olori Atuwatse III said: “When we were planning the festivities, we agreed amongst ourselves that it will be good to pay homage to where our father was born to say thank you for giving us such a great man as a father because if your mother did not take delivery of our father, we will not have been here so I just want to say on behalf of the children, thank you.”

While presenting the gifts including a cheque, Osahon Okunbo, said: “We just want to thank you for the existence of a place like this and people like your mother who sacrificed her services to humanity, we thank God for that and this is our little contribution and this is not the last time you are going to see our support and even expanding the vision to see a greater city of Benin.”

  Cappi as he was fondly called was seen as a man whose generosity was legendary.

He was generally seen as someone humble with his wealth.

Speaking on how generous Okunbo was,   his driver, Andrew Otomi, who said he had worked for him since 1990, said: “His generosity was to a fault while his humility was legendary. I have never seen anybody like him and have lost count of the people he liberated from poverty or made millionaires. He made me a landlord in Lagos and bought a car for me.

   “I could recall an incident that happened in 2018 when I called to tell him that I needed money to fix my collapsed soakaway.

   “Without any question, he asked how much I needed to get it fixed and I told him N150,000. Three hours later, I received an alert of one million naira.’’

All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said” “Once in a thousand years, a few great people walk the face of the earth and leave their mark forever. They make such an impact on humanity which is almost immeasurable by human standards.

   “Captain Hosa Okunbo is one of them. He made a success of everything he touched and left an indelible mark in the lives of everyone who came in contact with him.

   “Just like Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

   “He was a man of many dreams and ambitions who was able to defeat the limitations surrounding his birth and claimed a prominent spot in our national memory. He was a solution provider.’’

  A former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said Captain was a good friend and an exceptionally dependable ally in all his efforts for a better Edo State.

   He said Okunbo “truly loved our state and wished only the best for its people.  

   “His generosity and capacity for empathy knew no bounds. He was a man of peace with an unlimited ability to forgive those who hurt him. He was a great source of inspiration for our youths, with a unique flair to understand and intervene on their behalf.’’

   Governor Godwin Obaseki described him as, “a trained pilot, who conquered the air at an early age and set for the waters and land, building enterprises that distinguished him in the business world and embodied the hard work, perseverance, dexterity and acumen that espoused his Edo heritage.

   “Okunbo was a philanthropist, who gave lavishly of himself and his resources. Thousands of Edo sons and daughters benefited from his charitable works and benevolence.

Speaking further about his father,  Olori Atuwatse III, described him as her hero.

   “I grew up watching him make choices designed to dissolve the walls of impossibility he and others around him faced.

   “Captain Hosa walked on purpose and, in doing so, encouraged others to find their paths. From humble roots, his driving dream birthed outstanding achievements.”

   She said just like 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Hence, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me on that day and not to me only, but unto all of them that love his appearance.”

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