5th of October 2021 was a day to remember as a night of tributes was held for a foremost Nigerian philanthropist, entrepreneur and businessman, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, popularly known as “Captain Hosa”.
The event heralded the start of five days of ceremonies leading up to the internment of the billionaire businessman, whose presence on earth, for the last sixty-three years, touched the lives of millions across all spheres of life; especially those of his many employees from home and abroad whose turn it was to recount their memories of a great leader, benefactor, father figure, mentor and friend.
The evening held little reason for tears and sorrow, as the August gathering savoured many stories of how Cappi had impacted the lives of the many men and women who had worked under him. “Selfless giver”, “a man who never discriminated”, ” leader of leaders, “a father of all.” These words formed the central theme of the many tributes that were made on the day.
Also in attendance were delegates of different royal groups from the Bini and Warri Kingdoms, who came to pay their final respects to the man many fondly called Cappi. Olori Atuwatse III, wife of the Olu of Warri and daughter of Captain Hosa, alongside her sister, Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, led the children and siblings of Cappi to receive the heartfelt tributes of guests.
Amongst those who delivered tributes include the Executive Director of Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd, Mr Kunle Oyelaku; Mrs Mnena Bara-Hart, the Company Secretary; Mr Sid Chopra, Captain Hosa’s personal aide; Mr John Odaru, the Executive Director and COO of Westminster Security; Engr Franklin of Wells Hosa Greenhouse Farm; Engr Victor Ekong, Head of Operations of CMES – OMS; Mr Patrick Odiale and Mr Andrew Otomi; staffs of Gyro Air Limited led by Managing Director, Daniel Quansah.
Chief Mene Brown, the delegate of the Olu of Warri Atuwatse III, summarised the totality of the night’s event filled with inspiring words like that of Engr Victor Ekong who said: “You don’t meet a great man like a captain; you encounter him”. Chief Mene ended with the fruit of wisdom saying: “If you look at his life it is evident that the hands of God were upon his life. His vision was way ahead of his era. If you asked, why did he move in such a way that only a meteor could move? Just as he left flying when the ovation was loud, so it is by God’s own choice, he has conquered everything that he has to, and he must go home. He is at home with Jesus. He is at home forever.”
The unmistakable message from the first ‘Night of Tribute’ was that Cappi, especially to his family, staff, and a privileged few who worked with him for more than three decades, had been an inspiring person, spiced by his unwavering loyalty to those he loved. His relentless character in showing forgiveness, was one of the qualities expressed by his brother, Danddison Okunbo. Recounting his generosity, many professed how much Captain meant to those who were close to him, and how with his golden touch, he seemed to always turn around the life of everyone around him for good.
The evening of the first ‘Night of Tributes’ came to a close with the vote of thanks and closing prayer
We wish him a safe landing in the Great Beyond.