Hon. Temitope Olatoye SUGAR

1. Dear hagiographer, Hon. Temitope Olatoye (SUGAR) who was murdered yesterday in Ejioku area of Ibadan was to you a “kindhearted philanthropist” and he would be remembered ONLY as that. Now, that’s cool. But kindly do note that for many innocent families in Oyo and Ogun States, he would be fondly remembered for the heart-shattering sounds of, er, (his) bullets. Now that’s fine too.
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2. Shortly before the night of September 14, 2007, Hon. Segun Oladimeji (SEGELU), then member of this same Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency that ‘Hon. Sugar’ represented until yesterday, was murdered. Reports said he was killed at a relaxation point in Ejioku (again, de javu?!). Just like I have noticed since yesterday, his death was trailed by an ocean of beautiful condolences, with many eulogizing his virtues and conveniently re-writing history. But one description, picked from the street at the time, struck me: “Hon Segelu was a peace-loving and disciplined family man who never womanized.” Alleluia!
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3. “Peace-loving”. “Non-womanising”. Beautiful adjectives. Beautiful people. But then context is important too, brethren. Context.
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4. Months before Mr Segelu’s murder, I worked on a project and had a stint at Apatere village, a rural settlement sited around his main territory, located within the larger Lagelu-Akinyele base which houses his popular Segelu Hotel. And the near-total consensus of folks within and without the community? Segelu’s randy moves had become a source of communal concern, with hilarious suggestions of ‘communal prayers’ and all! Of course, that’s in addition to his records as the late Lamidi Adedibu’s beloved son in the region, ostensibly because of his own political dexterity and mastery of the famed Adedibu brand of politics. We all know Baba Adedibu’s politics was “peace-loving” nah, no be so?
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5. So the point here is that we unleash too much mayhem on history in the name of some nauseating “culture” of not ‘speaking ill of the dead’, thus making a mess of accounts that should ordinarily be a huge database of experiences and lessons for the unborn generation.
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6. Hon. SUGAR dedicated a part of his latter-day socio-political life to “philanthropy”; that’s right. (Now, we could debate that claim because our idea of “philanthropy”, especially if coming from an ELECTED politician, is in most cases a manifestation of our own warped understanding of civics. Often, what we refer to as philanthropic gestures are a tiny fraction of what we DULY deserve as dividends of democracy from our EMPLOYEE, the elected person. But then decades of deliberate miseducation have apparently distorted our conception of governance and we scream “Baba Alaye” for receiving peanuts and promptly call our employees ‘philanthropists’ for spending a quarter of OUR money for a few among us, with huge expectation of political capital.)
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7. But again, for the sake of this discourse, I would agree that he was a “philanthropist”. Yes. But should that refrain us from dissecting his past as appropriate, away from sweet saccharine and sycophantic BS? I think so not.
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8. Hon. Sugar would be remembered for his “philanthropy” as much as he would for his Oshiele exploits; for his legendary records as OGD’s “sharp-man”; for his never-seen-before daredevilry in Ogun; for his records in Akinyele; and for the numerous paddy-paddy arrangements of Oyo and Ogun “Progressives” that pushed him into Oyo APC and catapulted him to the zenith of politics in the state, so much so that he contemplated governing Oyo!
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9. Hon. Sugar’s political records would also reflect Oyo “Progressives’” nauseating hypocrisy. We may have chosen not to speak at the time but not a few politically discerning folks knew of the immense efforts he put into the ouster of Alao-Akala and the “arrangement” that buried his records in Ogun and, like Oshiomhole said, made him a new-born “Progressive” in Oyo until the ‘honeymoon’ ended during the last primaries.
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10. So, dear hagiographer, Hon. Sugar was a “good” man, I quite agree. But I am sure many innocent families and communities who still nurse scars of pre-2011 Sugar’s exploits would agree with you on this as they would if you told them the bullet has its “good” benefits when deposited inside the hearts of ‘targets’, a few of them innocent.

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