Paul Akintelure: Celebrating a Quintessential Leader@58 By Segun Olajide

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In the evergreen words of the notable bard of old, Williams Shakespeare: some people are born great, some achieve greatness while some have greatness thrust on them. 

For those who are conversant with his history and the trajectory of his life up till this moment that he is now 58, approaching the sixth floor of life,  it is crystal clear that Dr Paul Akintelure, the centrepiece of this article, achieved greatness by dint of hard work, commitment to duties, loyalty and by the share grace of God.

Therefore, following the Shakespearean model, Dr Akintelure falls in the category of the men who achieve greatness. This is the reality of his life.

But for his razor sharp intelligence, his unparalleled devotion to success against all odds coupled with the benevolence of some God-sent folks, who would have thought that a young boy who lost his dad when he was barely 20 could have gone to the only premier university in Nigeria -University of Ibadan, competing with the best and brightest brains in the country and around the world to study Medicine and Surgery, excelled and graduated in record time? 

Ever since he left the Ibadan Medical School, it has been from one path of excellence to the other. The crowning glory of it yet was when he opened his ultra-modern hospital, Broad Hospital, built from scratch without a loan,  one of the very best in Alimosho Local Governemnt Area of Lagos State. The hospital was commissioned in the year 2005 by then Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Leke Pitan, on behalf of the then indefatigable Governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Popularly known as ‘Dr Broad’ in the medical community and those who may have benefitted from his extensive and broad medical knowledge, his hospital is more or less a charity organization to the indigent, especially his people back home in Ondo State, a lot of whom get free treatments or treatments at heavily subsidized rates. At the risk of being patronizing, I make bold to say that yours sincerely and his household are constant beneficiaries of his generosity in terms of extending quality treatment to those who may not be able to afford the price.

Given his relentless passion to banish poverty, taking into cognizance how he suffered from his excruciating pains as a child growing up in Igbotako, his home town, Dr Akintelure has also invested in the hospitality business and agricultural value chain where he is also blazing the trail as he normally does wherever  he goes. He commits into these ventures so much energy and time as he does for his primary love: medicine.  Sometimes you marvel at the boundlessness of his energy and the vitality of his vigor.

A philanthropist of no mean repute, Dr Akintelure, who doubles as the Otunba of Osooro Land and Ikale Land of Okitipupa Local Governemnt Area, realized early enough that politics is an act of extending service to a large number of the people. He is of the contention that while philanthropy is limited in scope and reach, politics could grant the participant a wide latitude to reach the most underprivileged of the people. This is the main reason he joined the political class. 

There’s one unusual quality of Otunba Akintelure: consistence in his beliefs. He is as reliable and loyal as one may get, virtues which are quite rare among today’s politicians. This perhaps explains why he has remained a shining star among the consistent progressives in the country for close to two decades now. 

It is an indisputable fact that he has contributed to building the party of the progressives, starting from when it was the Action Congress before it morphed into the Action Congress of the Nigeria and now All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ondo State in significant proportions. In fact, he was the Ondo South Senatorial candidate of the ACN in 2011 and deputy governorship candidate to Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in the 2012 governorship election in the state.

Undaunted by the losses of the ACN in  the 2011 and 2012 elections, he soldiered on, built new alliances and attracted more people into the progressive fold. The resultant effect of their commitment to keep hoisting the progressive flag, no matter the odds,  was what led to the resounding victory of the APC in the 2015 and 2016 elections in Ondo State which ultimately culminated in the election of Akeredolu as the Governor of the state.

Expectedly, as the impassioned and unflappable progressive that he is, Dr Akintelure has continued to provide massive support for the APC in Ondo State while also rallying support for the Akeredolu-led governemnt so that it can meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state. 

In order to continue and sustain the good works of Governor Akeredolu, Dr Akintelure has also thrown his weight behind the re-election bid of the incumbent Governor whom he believes has done so well in the last three and half years and therefore deserves a second term in office so that he can continue to do more for the people of the state. To Otunba, to whom much is given, much is expected. 

At 58, Dr Akintelure remains optimistic that the best is yet to come even as he keeps striving for the best. He believes, and rightly so, that when one achievement is attained, it is time to set the bar and timeline for the actualization of another worthier achievement. That explains why he is involved in many sundry engagements almost simultaneously and keeps getting the best out of them. It also explains why he is supporting Akeredolu for a second term. He believes that the Governor needs to consolidate on his achievements so far.

Here is wishing a political leader of note, medical personality per excellence and philanthropist of our time a blissful 58th birthday.

Segun Olajide sent in this piece from Akure, Ondo State.