​Mimiko Owes Ondo An Apology By Adewale Giwa

My previous article published by this revered media company on October 30, 2016, tagged “Mimiko’s Hope Dashed Before Election” attracted criticism from the camp of Governor Olusegun Mimiko. His boys bombarded me with different threat messages, insulting my personality through social media and phone calls. As I give kudos to this medium of reporting truth on daily happenings in Nigeria, I am bold to say that the administration of Mimiko, since 2009 and up till date, has brought nothing but hardship to the good people of Ondo State. If someone could go back to history and see how the great ‘Iroko’ of Ondo State emerged as governor through the instrumentality of law and peoples’ financial and moral supports, Mimiko should not have been the least governor in Ondo State since 1999 that has performed below expectations of the people.

One may have thought that having been part of the system since 1992, Mimiko ought to have studied different challenges confronting people of the state and finding a lasting solution to them. He was a Commissioner for Health and Social Services in January 1992 during the Nigerian Third Republic under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had Bamidele Olumilua as elected Governor of Ondo State. Mimiko left the office in late 1993 as a result of the military coup d’état that terminated that Republic.

In 1999 also, Governor Mimiko was a Commissioner for Health during the administration of late Chief Adebayo Adefarati under Alliance for Democracy (AD) before he resigned in 2002 to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mimiko was a leading light of Chief Adefarati’ s administration that led prominent indigenes of Ondo State like late Chief Rufus Giwa, Dr. Akerele Adu, Dr. Olu Agunloye, Chief Yele Omogunwa, Senator Nimbe Farunkanmi, Dr. Awolowo Ajaka, Dr. Tayo Dairo, Chief Niyi Omodara, Mr. Tunji Ariyo, Chief Jise Akinmurele, Chief Bamidele Awosika, Col. Akin Falaye (Rtd.) among others to work against the second term governorship ambition of the late Adefarati.

All these people worked against the administration of AD to support PDP in ensuring Olusegun Agagu defeated Chief Adefarati (both late). In order to show appreciation to Governor Mimiko for what he did, the late Agagu appointed him the Secretary to the State Government, a position occupied till July 2005, when he was appointed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a Minister of the Federal Republic in charge of the Housing and Urban Development Ministry.

An adage in Yoruba says, “Omuntin Gbagbe Ise,” meaning, “A drunkard forgets being wretched.” Let me quickly break it down, in case you still do not understand what I intend to say. I do not know whether someone has experienced being poor in his life ever, before becoming rich. If you do and unfortunately forget the bitter experience or experiences you passed through when you were poor and start misbehaving to people, then the Yoruba will say “Omuntin Gbagbe Ise.” Because you are now rich, that makes you talk carelessly and allow the spirit of pride and arrogance to bestow on you. This can be linked to the nearly two decades administration of Dr. Mimiko.

If anyone should be described as a lucky politician in the political history of Ondo State, it is Governor Mimiko, the one whom people of the state stood by during hard-times. Despite calling the medical doctor by profession different names, that he was an indigene of Kogi State, and that Ondo State people should reject him when he was contesting the 2007 governorship election against late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, people still went ahead and massively voted for Mimiko.

Governor Mimiko came into power through the financial support of people, especially the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. Mimiko presented himself as a saint man who does not have a record of financial recklessness during his stay in different offices before becoming the governor. This quality Mimiko claims to have possessed made people, especially the Labour Party (LP) members to contribute financially from the unit, local government and state levels to support his governorship campaigns in 2007. Those who had no money to contribute went to different mountains to pray for the emergence of Governor Mimiko as governor of Ondo State.

The Ondo State of today is far worse than the Ondo State we had before the February 2009. It is a state that is wallowing in abject poverty. The government of Governor Mimiko inherited the sum of N38 billion from late Agagu’s government. Now that the governor’ s tenure is ending in February, people are anxious to know how much the outgoing administration will leave behind. It is on record that Agagu left a buoyant economy for Mimiko.

Today, it is a fact that the economy of the state is hemorrhaging and bleeding satanically. Presently, the administration of Governor Mimiko owes workers in the state 6 months salary, including the state government retirees who are now begging to survive. Almost 80% of the youths in the state are jobless as a result of the failure of the governor to resuscitate the moribund industries, which he promised to do when he was campaigning in 2007. Pundits argue that if these abandoned companies, namely: Oluwa Glasses at Igbokoda, Bolorunduro Timbers, Ifon ceramics, Arigidi Tomato Paste Factory, Okitipupa Oil Palms mill among others were to be revived, Ondo State would have become one of the best states in Nigeria.

Mimiko, who also campaigned against past governors to have abandoned the projects never shows any concern of reviving, at least one out of the companies. Many projects have gone down the drain since the administration of Governor Mimiko came into power. Those who say that promises are better not made than fail to keep them feel affronted on account of the failed promises allegedly made by Governor Mimiko while seeking for the votes of the people eight years ago.

The people of Ondo North and South are worst hit as the list shows important projects that could have impacted positively on their lives. They include, the Construction of Mother and Child Hospital in each local government area, the Arigidi Akoko Tomato Industry on which more than over N200 million has been spent, establishment of the Okeluse Cement Factory and empowerment of artisans, Ifon Ceramic Industry in Ose Local Government, the Alpha 3D Factory in Ikare among others.

Those projects abandoned by Mimiko in the Central Senatorial District also include the Akure township stadium, the multi-billion Naira Owena multipurpose dam, and the Idanre Golf Course, just to mention a few.

These projects are described as “people-oriented” which were on before Mimiko’s administration came and promised to resuscitate which it did not.

With just a few months till the end of his tenure, Governor Mimiko has allegedly awarded not less than N60 billion different contracts in the state. To crown it all, the governor recently launched Food Palliative Programmes, which according to him will cut across the 18 Local Government areas of Ondo State. Why is our governor embarking on these projects at late hours? Why has Mimiko failed to implement the gesture years ago? To the supporters of the governor, Mimiko is now demonstrating the good governance for the people, but to political pundits, he is leaving behind a huge debt for the in coming government.

With all aforementioned failed promises Governor Mimiko’s government never accomplished in Ondo State, the people of the state deserve an apology from him. It is also good to know that “Whatever you do will definitely speak after your exit.”

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