Edo billionaire, Captain Hosa Okunbo, dies at 63

August 9, 2021
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Edo business mogul and billionaire, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, popularly known as Captain Hosa, is dead. He was aged 63.

The news of the death of the philanthropist and trained commercial pilot filtered in early Sunday from London in the United Kingdom, where he has been undergoing Cancer treatment.

Announcing his demise, the family, in a statement issued in Benin City, Edo State, late Sunday evening, however, craved the indulgence of all sympathisers to mourn their late son in privacy. 

The head of the late Evangelist Robert Amos Okunbo of Orhua town in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, to which the late commercial pilot belonged, announced the death through Dr Tinyan Okunbo, head of the Okunbo family, saying the late businessman “passed on in the early hours of August 8, 2021 after a gallant fight with pancreatic cancer.” 

The statement was made available to the media by late Captain Okunbo’s media consultant, Samuel Ajayi. 

The family, however, thanked God for a life of service and dedication to humanity that the late businessman lived and said further announcements would be communicated at a later date

Billionaire business magnate left the shores of Nigeria two days after the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship elections for the United Kingdom, to attend to his failing health.

His departure then sparked a row between his family and the Edo State Government, which issued a statement, wishing him quick recovery even when he, Hosa, did not formally inform anyone that he had health challenges.

Weeks later, his family had to issue a rejoinder, dispelling the rumours of his demise in October 2020.

Reacting to the news, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, commiserated with the family, friends and associates of the deceased. 

Buhari said the late Okunbo, with investments spanning the petroleum, telecommunications, maritime, and power sectors, among others, contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian economy, providing sustenance to many families in the process. 

As he prayed for the repose of the soul of the late Captain, Buhari urged those who mourn him, particularly the people of Edo State to whom he devoted time and resources, to sustain his legacies of well-spiritedness and large heartedness. The immediate national chairman of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) and former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, described the death of Captain Hosa as “an irreplaceable loss to humanity.” 

In a condolence statement he personally endorsed in Benin City, on Sunday, Oshiomhole said that he received with shock and disbelief. 

“Captain Hosa was not just a good friend, but a brother and an exceptionally dependable ally in all my efforts for a better Edo State. He truly loved our state and wished only the best for its people,” he said. 

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State expressed sadness over the passage of Okunbo who he described as a man of unparalleled energy and accomplishments. Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, in a statement he endorsed on Sunday said the death of Okunbo had created a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill. 

“Mr Hosa made a huge difference to the lives of countless people by his philanthropy. Despite his wealth, his humility, selflessness, strength of spirit and deep sense of purpose made him a national icon, a revered symbol of humanity and a source of inspiration to many people,” he said.

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