Tributes have continued to pour in from Nigerians from all walks of life for the late billionaire business magnate and philanthropist, Idahosa Wells Okunbo, popularly called Captain Hosa who died in a London hospital Sunday August 8, 2021.
According to a statement by the family, the chairman of Ocean Marines Solutions Limited, OMSL died of pancreatic cancer.
The No. 38, Aiguobasinmwin Crescent, Benin City residence of the deceased business mogul with interests in virtually all sectors of the economy, has become a Mecca of sort as sympathisers troop in to sign a condolence register that had been opened in his honour.
Paying glowing tribute to the departed illustrious son of Edo State, former deputy governor of the state, Pius Egberamwen Odubu, described him as a consummate businessman “with a heart of gold”.
In a condolence letter to the family, Odubu said “Captain Hosa was a rare gem, an achiever, and a record-setter with a heart of gold. He saw it all and did it all. In the air, he soared like an eagle; on the sea, he sailed effortlessly, and while on land, he was as steady as the rock of Gibraltar”.
He further eulogised Okunbo as “A consummate businessman and a philanthropist par excellence” who impacted all that came his way positively. According to Odubu, “If there is any soul that aptly epitomises the saying that “it is well with my soul”, it is the soul of Captain Hosa.
He posited that “The Benin race, Edo People, and indeed Nigerians, have lost a rare gem”.
Also paying tribute to the memory of the departed, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19, 2020 governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, shared his conversation with Okunbo shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer.
In a tribute titled “Where is Captain?” he wrote: “The success of captain lies in his upward look. While others look downward and lament problems, he looks up and provide solutions.
“Who was captain looking up to? The answer is God. Captain believed so much in God that he would spend hours worshipping him. His good works and love for people was borne out of his unwavering love for God. He built churches and supported those working for God.
“He would frequently tell his friends that if not for God, where would he have been? He devoted time to seeking the face of God especially in handling complex issues.Though he had an abundance of material possessions, his focus was not earthly but how to make heaven”.
The Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG recalled that “When his illness was diagnosed, Captain told me- “Osagie, I am not afraid of death. God loves me so much that he told me ahead when I will die, giving me the unique opportunity to put my house in order”.
In the condolence register at his residence, Ize-Iyamu wrote: “Captain; brother, leader, and friend, congratulations on a triumphant exit. We feel the pain but acknowledge that our time is limited and you have played your part and excelled in flying colours. You are in a better place.”
On his part, the member representing Oredo Federal Constituency, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama wrote: “My leader, my master, I am happy you had time to make peace with your God. Enjoy heaven.”
For a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Paschal Ugbome, “A good man out, a great man has gone to be with our Lord. Rest in peace Baba, the Captain of all Hemispheres. We shall meet again at the resurrection morning.”