Ondo 2016: Sustaining the Mimiko’s Legacies By Festus Aladesanmi
Dr. Rahman Abayomi Olusegun Mimiko, the incumbent and out-going Governor of Ondo state, is the first governor in the history of the state to enjoy full two uninterrupted terms in office. He got this because he allegedly fooled the civil servants (through the various unions) and the generality of the people by doing some populist programs and projects at the tail-end of his first term. They erroneously thought he was going to continue with the populist agenda if voted in for 2nd term. Unfortunately, they got it all wrong!
The excuse he gave was that he couldn’t do much within the first two years of his first term in office because he was not in “total” control of the house of the state Assembly then. In the last two years of his first term, he build two (2) mothers and child hospitals (for the entire state), some markets (many of which are yet to be put to maximum use after almost 5 years), few mega schools, dualization of Arakale road and construction of two roundabouts in Akure. These were the populist agenda that was introduced and used to cajole the people that if voted in for second term, he will continue the trend across major cities and in all local government areas of Ondo state.
He convinced us and got everyone carried away. The market women, artisans and drivers were all in support of him. He even paid 13th month salary to the civil servant in 2012, to buy their support. That was the first and only time the civil servants enjoyed that luxury in his 8 years reign. He fooled us so much that the labor leaders mounted rostrum and openly campaigned for him. He won the second term election with ease!
Surprisingly, the moment he got his second term, he turned his back on the people and dumped the populist agenda upon which the masses returned him. He promised to create one mother and child hospital in each of the 18 local government areas like he did for Akure South and Ondo West local government areas. He promised to turn all public schools in Ondo state to mega schools to bridge the gap between the rich that send their kids to private schools and the poor by making sure that all the facilities available in private school are equally available (or even better) in public schools.
I made bold to say that throughout the 2rd term of the 4 years, no single mother and child hospital was added to the earlier two that were built before the 2nd term election. Ondo state has about 2,000 public (primary and secondary) schools. Unfortunately in the almost eight (8) years of Governor Mimiko, he is yet to build 60 mega schools. The few available mega schools were built with computer laboratories but none of them have a single computer, many years after commissioning them with fanfare. The water fountain and automated roundabout that he promised to build in all the major cities if voted for 2nd term are yet to be seen. The only state road you can drive on in the entire state without running to pot holes are Arakale and Oba Adesida roads within Akure, Yaba road within Ondo town and Oke-Ogun road within Owo. All these roads put together are not up to 5 kilometers.
There is a saying that you are the products of the type of advice you listen to. Therefore whatever feasible flaws or shortcomings we see in Mimiko’s administration today should be seen as the collective mistake of all his cabinet members. Especially his kitchen cabinet, of which Eyitayo Jegede is the don. I have nothing against the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN. However, I can’t help my curiosity! What has he got to offer the people of Ondo state? He has been with Governor Mimiko from day one, till now. Mimiko anointed him because of his loyalty. This simply means that he supported and agreed with everything the Governor has done in the last 8 years.
Therefore whoever votes for Eyitayo Jegede in the forthcoming election is voting for the continuation of lies and corruption. Governor Mimiko imposed Eyitayo on the PDP because he wanted a 3rd term through the back door. It’s not a crime for the incumbent governor to install successor to protect his legacy. Unfortunately, what legacy is our dear Governor protecting now?
Where is the promised “mother and child hospital” for the people in the entire northern senatorial district of 6 local government areas with hundreds of towns and villages? Where is the promised “mother and child” hospital for the people in the entire southern senatorial district of 6 local government areas with hundreds of towns and communities? What is the relevance of one Mega School in a local government that have about 70 public schools? You can’t drive for 5 minutes on any state roads across the whole Ondo state before you run to pot holes. The Akoko areas suffers the greatest challenge occasioned by the worse roads they are condemned to ply daily. Abandoned projects litters everywhere. Even the most celebrated Dome is yet to be fully completed after 6 years though already commissioned. The Ondo State University of Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTEC) is in a state of comatose. Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo (RUGIPO) is epileptic and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA) is in crisis. Are these the legacies Jegede is coming to sustain for Mimiko? What a shame!
My dear people of Ondo state, the ball is in your court again. The keys to elongate or truncate the current Mimiko’s maladministration through the 3rd term agenda is in your hands. The key is your voter’s cards. Use it wisely. Let’s jointly put our fate in our hands, reject Mimiko and end his reign of wastes. It will be too costly and disastrous to make the mistake of granting Mimiko a 3rd term in office. The last 4 years have been described as very bad, the next will be worse if care is not taken. The choice is yours!
Festus Aladesanmi, writes from Oba-Ile, Akure, Ondo State.