From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The disagreement between Edo business mogul, Capt. Hosa Okunbo and the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has taken a dangerous dimension, with Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, accusing Okunbo and ex-Comrade governor Adams Oshiomhole of sponsoring thugs in the state with a view to undermine the will of the people in the forthcoming September 19, 2020 governorship election.
In a statement, Osagie said the duo and their allies have resorted to violence after discovering that they cannot win the governorship election in a fair contest.
“It has come to our notice that the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and a Benin billionaire, Captain Hosa Okunbo, held a meeting on July, 19, 2020, where they perfected plans to recruit thugs to disrupt the forthcoming September 19 governorship election in the state, having discovered that they cannot win the election in a fair contest.
“In the meeting held at Okunbo’s residence on Aiguobasimwin Street, GRA, Benin City, they met with these thugs, gave them targets and paid them in advance to cause trouble and undermine the will of the people during the elections”, Osagie claimed.
But in a statement issued this night by Okunbo’s Senior Executive Assistant, Mrs Denise Onu, the Chairman, Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd, described Crusoe’s allegations as very grave and damaging.
He dismissed the claims as outright ridiculous, false and mischievous, saying that the intention behind them was/is to embarrass these respected sons and leaders of Edo State and lower their reputation in the estimation of right-thinking and reasonable members of the society.
The statement titled “Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki’s desperate and confused actions”, reads:
“The attention of the Chairman of Ocean Marine Solution, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, has been drawn to the defamatory statement made on behalf of the State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Crusoe Osagie.
“Osagie made very grave and damaging claims against Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo and a former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, linking them with the sponsorship of political thugs to be deployed in the September 19 governorship election.
“He claimed that both Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole met in Captain Okunbo’s GRA residence in Benin on July 19, 2020 with the thugs on which occasion they paid the thugs upfront.
“While the claims are outright ridiculous, false and mischievous, the intention behind them was/is to embarrass these respected sons and leaders of Edo State and lower their reputation in the estimation of right-thinking and reasonable members of the society.
“It is unfortunate that at a time when resources are dwindling and when there is need for public enlightenment on health related issues, Crusoe Osagie has misdirected his attention and state resources toward baseless personal attacks on perceived enemies of his principal.
“Without any iota of doubt, these malicious and careless statements by Crusoe Osagie were endorsed by his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, on whose behalf he spoke and still speaks as his spokesperson.
“While the statement is baseless and unfair, it betrays desperation on the part of the entire Edo State Government under Governor Godwin Obaseki. The statement also suggests cluelessness as to how to peacefully and maturely engage with emerging political issues ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
“The point is hereby made that Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, in particular, is a man of peace whose patience is legendary. Therefore, they could not be talking about him in the context they did without answering to their indiscretion in making the outlandish and defamatory claims.
“Judging by the recent history and timelines of violence in the State on the watch of Governor Godwin Obaseki to cow opponents, the consensus is that through Crusoe Osagie, the State Government and its officials, had actually talked about their failure to ensure the peace, safety and security of the people of Edo State”.