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Mysterious Death Of Aspiring Gov Who Cried ‘Wolf’

By

Gbemiga Ogunleye

I was driving out of the house that Tuesday morning, when the phone rang. The caller, my “brother-in-love,” a Prince of the Oyo Empire, was the harbinger of the news.

“Have you heard about Broad?”, he asked.

I froze!

From experience, once someone asks such a question, you instinctively knew that something terrible had happened to the person.

Broad, of course, is the name of the hospital founded by Doctor Paul Akintelure, humanist, politician and the leading gubernatorial aspirant under the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.

Because of the popularity of the hospital, it became synonymous with his name.

The Prince went on to tell me that he had read from a news site and confirmed from credible posts on Facebook that Akintelure had passed on.

Although I was in an air-conditioned car, I began to sweat.

I had known Broad for about three decades. We started our relationship on doctor-patient basis. He was our family doctor and later we became friends.

We regularly discussed politics and you could feel his passion when he discussed the trouble with Nigeria.
We always ended our discussion with me challenging him that when good men like him shun politics, the field is left wide open for charlatans and traders. People like him, therefore, should not complain about being governed by misfits.

I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when, to borrow that tired cliche, he threw his hat in the ring.

This Igbotako indigene, in the Okitipupa local government of Ondo State, joined the Action Congress of Nigeria.

A loyal party man and a grassroots man, it was no surprise that he was named as the Deputy Governorship Candidate in 2012 governorship election in Ondo State.

Rotimi Akeredolu, the former Governor of Ondo State, who died recently was the Governorship Candidate.

They lost the election to Olusegun Mimiko; but Akintelure remained within the Progressives fold.

When Akeredolu flew the APC flag as gubernatorial candidate for Ondo State in 2016, Akintelure wasn’t on the ticket because as a loyal party man, he sided with the party elders in their rift with Akeredolu.

A community leader, with significant contributions to his Ikale people, honour came from home when he was honoured as the Otunba of Ikale land. This wasn’t surprising because even when he was a tenant, his house was home to Ikale indigenes in search of greener pastures in Lagos.

He was a benefactor and mentor extraordinaire to many young people from Ikale.

Although he had been ill, which delayed the beginning of his campaign for the governorship ticket of his party, many people would swear that the illness wasn’t such that it should lead to his death.

What is certain, however, is that, five days to his death, on March 21,2024 to be precise, he had alleged that some people were after his life in their bid to stop his governorship ambition.

In a press statement by his brother, Dapo, who was also the spokesman of the FOCUS 2024 campaign, he had lamented: “It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge recent unsettling events wherein there have been both direct and indirect attempts on my person. Initially, I hoped these incidents would dissipate over time. Regrettably, they have escalated to pose a serious threat to my life.”

At his house, which doubles as the hospital, I could only stare at his widow, who was lost in thoughts. I couldn’t imagine what she was going through.

I felt sorry for her loss because I know she and her husband were very close.
I could not utter a word. When I finally found my voice. I could only mutter: “You are in our prayers.”

Her world had just been turned upside down! They were friends.
She was always in the hospital as the husband got her really involved in the running of the hospital.

Such is her knowledge that I can say without any fear of contradiction that she can teach many nurses and doctors a thing or two about their profession.

Before leaving the house, I went to the hospital and fixed my eyes on the MISSION statement of the hospital engraved on the wall. The MISSION statement is an eloquent testimony of the man: Paul Akintelure. It reads: “BROAD HOSPITAL, Our Mission: To be dedicated, with strong empathy, to the delivery of health care services to all irrespective of gender, ethnicity, colour, race, religion, economic or social status and at all times, “imagine you are the patient.”

Paul Akintelure always put himself in the shoes of his patients. He was kind to a fault and some patients took advantage and didn’t pay their bills after being discharged.

He had a listening EAR and treated not a few patients free OF CHARGE.

Paul Akintelure’s untimely death brings to the fore once again the often asked question : Why do good men depart very early?

By his passage, Ikale and Ondo State have lost an illustrious son; hundreds of Ikale youths have lost a genuine helper and mentor and Oluwafunmilayo has lost a worthy partner, a soulmate and great confidant.

The four children, two of whom are medical doctors like their father, have been denied the love, advice and guidance of a loving father.

He will be missed!

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