FEATURE ARTICLE

Babs AjayiTuesday, October 9, 2012
Babsajayi@yahoo.com
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

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MIMIKO: LET'S KEEP MOVING FORWARD

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lusegun Mimiko has always been driven by purpose, determination and the zeal to offer himself for selfless service to the people - not just to the people of Ondo State, but the entire people of Nigeria. He has found in Ondo State the opportunity to demonstrate the social exposure and learning he picked up while as an undergraduate at the University of Ife, Ile-Ife and there after. A student of the political education, social development, selfless service and change that characterized the Ife nation builders and teachers under the influence of Wole Soyinka, Mimiko was determined to translate the teachings and way of life in Ife into practice. He is focused on creating a new way of life, social devotion, and commitment to the development of society, its education, social services and ambience into concrete development and improvements. Ondo State has been the beneficiary of that zeal and determination, which have translated in developments in education, healthcare, environment, social services and community improvements.

Hospitals in Ondo State have been transformed and more is still being done by Mimiko and his team to take Ondo State to new heights since the years of the Unity Party of Nigeria's Chief Adekunle Ajasin and their cardinal programs. The new school buildings, the well furnished classrooms, Internet-ready computer rooms and libraries are world class. That these schools come with top class facilities is a testament to the determination of Mimiko to do things differently, train the children of Ondo State and put them right at the top for higher education and career and professional prospects. This is one development Ondo State needs Mimiko to build on, and this is one remarkable success we all are all very proud of. It is also one good reason to reject Olusola Oke of the PDP outright as a man without focus or plan. If Oke's plan is to scrap the Mega Schools, then you know upfront that he does not mean well for the children of Ondo State and his will mark the return of lootocrats and the chop-and-quench men who are nothing but plunderers, deceivers and parasites (PDP).

The PDP is never known for development; they do well in spreading corruption and looting the treasury everywhere they go, and the government of Dr. Agagu was not different. Roads were neglected, hospitals became deplorable and disregarded, infrastructures literally collapsed, and schools allowed to degenerate and fall apart. The condition of Ondo State when Dr. Mimiko took over was so pathetic that there were no chairs in the classrooms for pupils and students in state schools, hospitals lacked basic drugs and primary health care infrastructure and materials. But now all that has changed and there is a plan in place to move Ondo State forward, which is why the people of Ondo State are determined to keep moving onward and not allow political travelers to take over Ondo State with their suitcases and luggage purchased from London and Chicago and bringing no hope for the people. Mimiko has done in some three years what Bola Tinubu failed woefully - and could not do in Lagos State in eight years - and shamefully until Babatunde Fasola took office. Unfortunately, Fasola is an exception to the ACN rule and he is in the same group of star performers like Mimiko, but Tinubu nearly prevented him from going for a second term! The selection of Akeredolu with the huge influence of Bola Tinubu, the ACN Sole Administrator, should be a direct warning to the people of Ondo State that, like in Osun and Ekiti States, Bola Tinubu will be the king puppeteer and administrator from Ikoyi, Lagos. Ondo State people are proud and honourable people and they do not need a puppet master dictating to them or their governor.

There is a glaring difference between Mimiko and Akeredolu. Mimiko has a track record as a builder and leader who has been very busy - and denied himself of vacations and local and foreign travels - in order to take Ondo State to a new height and bring improvements to the people of the state. Mimiko leads a winning team of technocrats and hardworking executives that is a rarity in the South-West these days. Ondo State is very lucky not to have a governor who is busy chasing after the shadow of an elected national leader either in Chicago, London or Lagos. Mimiko is neither renting a plane to take him around at a huge cost to the state, he has not visited China with his wife in tow, he was a no-show at the several rounds of Owambe parties in Ibadan, Abeokuta, and Lagos when the unelected national leader had a birthday jamboree that cost in excess of a billion naira! Ondo State is lucky to have a man who is focused on his work, determined to transform the state, vigorous in improving the lives of the people of Ondo State and working so hard to bring a new hope and a renewed aspiration for progress to the people. As for Akeredolu, he is neophyte who has never held any political office and has no record of service to the people of Ondo State. Mimiko cannot be compared to this former NBA president as there is no basis to compare a state builder with an upstart. There is no need to belabour this.

Call her Erelu or call her Egbere, there is no place for the wife of a state governor. The only governor in the South-West whose wife is not going around pretending to be what she is not and costing the state so much in aso ebi and travel expenses or trying to seek the spotlight and running another parallel administration is Olusegun Mimiko. I have never even heard her name mentioned or her photo used anywhere - unlike the wives of the ACN governors who are no different from Patience Jonathan and the rest of the wives of PDP governors! This is commendable and worthy of emulation by the governors of the ACN states. I do not think Ondo State wants an Owambe governor who is junketing every time with a failed former governor like Bola Tinubu. ACN governors and their wives are going from one gig to another and from one Owambe party or overseas trips and wasteful travels around the world all the time. Mimiko has not been known to travel overseas; he has focused heavily on his duties and tasks to take Ondo State to a new level never seen before.

I do not think the people of Ondo State want to join a party whose success is built around the successes recorded in one state out of five, the aberration that is taking place in Lagos by the singular and determined efforts of Babatunde Fasola who took over after eight years of nothing-doing under Bola Tinubu. Ondo State has witnessed and is still undergoing a lot of developments in health care, education, rural development and urban transformations, and all these are worth repeating again and again. All around Ondo State and after more than two years in office, the governors of Osun and Ekiti States have little or nothing to show for their administration. You actually wonder how many days they stay and remain in their states before travelling out of station or overseas with wives in tow. Nearly six months was wasted in the struggle between the self-appointed national leader Bola Tinubu and Ogbeni Aregbesola and Mr. Fayemi on the matter of constituting their state executives. The spent force that is heavily tainted by a Chicago certificate fraud, Bola Tinubu was determined to select the commissioners for the governors! Ondo will be better off to have nothing to do with anything that has Tinubu written on it or that involves him; it is a horrible brand, a brand full of scams, deceit, and corruption. It is a dishonest brand that is focused on the whims and caprices of one man - the man Bola Tinubu. There are so many projects requiring so much money and needing urgent attention, but the ACN governors are spending so much on hiring planes and traveling all over the place for ceremonies and Owambe parties that are not adding value to the lives of the people of their states. Ondo State must hold on to an executive governor who is committed to progress and who is grounded in the work and tasks he had set out for himself. ACN governors are spending hundreds of millions of naira of taxpayers' money regularly on buying aso ebi and other uniforms for all sorts of parties and ceremonies such as weddings, burials, birthdays, and anniversaries, and this is one incurable habit the people of Ondo State cannot afford.

Ondo State has never been this fortunate to have a man of compassion, someone who feels for the people and share their common sense of frustration that was the result of unfulfilled promises and inaction since the departure of Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin as governor. Mimiko has focused on developing schools, building roads, bringing progress and development to the people and ensuring a new dawn, and Ondo State people must move forward with Mimiko and his vision of a renewal. The vision is to "make Ondo State the best-administered state in Nigeria and the cynosure of all eyes, of which all its citizens shall be proud; where equity, justice and fairness shall be the driving forces of governmental action." Mimiko is on a mission "to mobilize the people of Ondo State to harness all our God-given resources" for "collective fulfillment," and you do not want an owambe party to stand in the way of Ondo State and progress. Let the man Chief Olu Falae referred to as a "true progressive." continue his transformation work unhindered in Ondo State.

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