Business magnate, investor, philanthropist and trained commercial pilot, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunubo, has raised the alarm over alleged threats on his life, family and businesses by agents of the Edo State Government.
He alleged the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, is after him because he believes he (Okunubo) posed a threat to his second term ambition.
Okunubo accused Governor Obaseki and his agents of deliberately orchestrating a campaign of calumny aimed at maligning and casting aspersions on his reputation.
He said information reaching him suggested that the Edo State government planned to burn down his farm and revoke the Certificates of Occupancy of all his houses in Benin.
He said the governor rebuffed efforts to reconcile him with former National Chairman of the All progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and threatened him because of his reconciliatory moves.
Okunubo made the allegations in a letter tagged: Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Good People of Edo State: Please Urge Governor Godwin Obaseki to Leave me Alone.
He said: “I call on our people to tell Governor Obaseki and his team to leave me alone to exercise my fundamental human rights and, in particular, allow me to exercise my freedom of choice without intimidation and blackmail.
“I am sincerely worried about the desperation and intolerance of the governor. I am honestly worried that these agents and hirelings may go beyond the limits of their mandate at the risk of my life and that of my family, including the destruction of my personal and corporate investments which have taken me decades to put in place.
“I have never before experienced intimidation and blackmail. I am sincerely worried about the desperation and intolerance of the governor. I am honestly worried that these agents and hirelings may go beyond the limits of their mandate at the risk of my life and that of my family, including the destruction of my personal and corporate investments which have taken me decades to put in place. I have never before experienced this high level of intolerance, wickedness and envy from anybody in my life, until now from a so-called friend and fellow Benin man.”
He further accused Obaseki of blaming him for Pastor Osagie lze-lyamu’s return to the APC.
“When lze-lyamu returned to APC, Governor Obaseki and his men attacked me for facilitating his return to the party, which came as a surprise to me. Pastor lze-lyamu is not unknown to many people as a politician and as a Nigerian; everyone knows he has his constitutional right, like everyone else, to join any party and legitimately play politics. So, why attribute his return to me?” he asked.
He said Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu. rebuffed all attempts to reconcile them with Oshiomhole and even warned him that if he continued to pursue reconciliation he would suffer ‘severe collateral damage’.
“At a time, I spent almost three hours of my precious time in the governor’s house, explaining to him the need to build synergy between him and Oshiomhole, in the best interest of the development of our state. He was blunt that he was not interested in any peace talk and that he was embarking on a fight to the finish with Oshiomhole.
“Again, to prove that he meant every word of his threat, he sent a mutual friend to me that night when I got home with a warning that I should steer clear from the ensuing fight between him and Oshiomhole, else, he would inflict severe collateral damage on me. In fact, I was stunned by his message, yet I put a call to him the next morning to confirm the veracity or otherwise of this message delivered to me by our mutual friend. He confirmed it.
“It is, however, interesting, as an aside, to mention that Shuaibu, who I have always known as Oshiomhole’s political son, did not, on his part, help matters. While efforts were on by various personalities for reconciliation, he announced that Oshiomhole should be arrested by the police,” he said.