By Remi Oladoye
One of the major reasons for seeking political power and position of authority in any human setting should be
majorly based on the need to alleviate the suffering of the people; make positive impact in the society and also create an indelible landmark which will be a point of reference to the generations to come. Africa as a whole has not been able to have much genuine leaders as most of her past leaders are either despotic dictators or thieves who see the opportunity given them to serve as an avenue for personal aggrandizement.
Nigeria has not been exceptional in this sphere as the country of over fifties years of independence still struggle to survive and move to a level where its counterpart in other part of the world are economically, technologically, politically and even socially. This in
turn has made the nation to lag behind in the provision of infrastructures, economic development and technological breakthrough. Unfortunately, the system in the country today is subjecting the people of Nigeria to third class citizens of the world.
Despite the ugly political and economic situation in the country some state governors still stand difference because of the human face they are given to all facet of life in their domain. They are difference in all things they do not because they were able to make
noise about what they are doing or yet to do but they are realist who believe in the notion that what is what doing at all is what doing well.
A cursory look at the level of development in the Sunshine State of Ondo put one at a cross road as to know whether the beautiful ones are now here. Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s empirical achievements in all sectors have put a question on a lot of people mouth wanting to know where he got the ideas from. How did he come about what he is doing and if allowed again wont he go the way of some governors who in their first term in office behaved humanly and later change their style, but the fact remain that there is need for stable development and the only factor that enhance that is continuity in office of the initiators of such transformational agenda.
There have been governors in Ondo state, the past governors up to the time of Dr Olusegun Agagu tried their best to give Ondo a facelift but it seemed that their best was not enough. When Dr Olusegun Mimiko came with the slogan “ISE TAKUN TAKUN”. And began to show to the people of Ondo state that though his predecessors have tried but he can do far better than them, and this he has demonstrated
through his indelible footprint in Ondo state today.
When about four years ago he was seeking the mandate of the people of Ondo state to serve them, he made a lot of promises which according to him was “what I have to showcase is based on the promise I made to the people of Ondo state. I promised than that I would work for them, that in all seasons I would work for them, that their everyday concern will be my concern” this are philosophical statements that
enveloped his campaign promises to the people and today the people of Ondo state can say that it has indeed been a good journey with Governor Mimiko since he came on board as the Executive Governor of the State.
It would have been difficult for his administration to successfully return smiles to the people of Ondo state with his caring heart project if he had not been a grassroot person who knew every nook and crannies of the state and had overtimes tried to see how he could tackle the problems without stressing the people of the Sunshine state which he was unable to achieve while serving under some administrations. But when the time came he quickly grabbed the opportunity and discharged the responsibility expected
of him by the people who gave him the mandate in the area of Education.
Ondo state is known to be a state of intellectuals but the glory of the past lost when the previous administration did not do anything meaningfully to uplift the standard of education in the state, though it is a general phenomenon in the country, but Mimiko
having promised to build a new Ondo state started rebuilding the falling standard of Education in the state. This reformation which was carried out through Quality Education Assurance Agency cut across the primary to the tertiary education in the State.
At the elementary level, he started with construction of Mega schools, across the state; the mega schools which are of international standard have ultra modern facilities and environment that is conducive enough for learning. Each school has a computer studio, libraries and other things that can be found in a standard school. Also the students enjoy
free transportation to the schools and get free uniform. The Head teacher of Caring Heart Mega School Oke-Ijebu, Akure in an interaction with journalists who visited the school recently said the idea of Mega School in the state is a unique in country.
"What we have here are not what you can see even in those private schools and this school is being attended by children of pepper seller, drivers and others. The
Governor has really transformed the educational sector in this state, all you are seeing you will find everywhere, he assured us that all the school in the state will be upgraded most of which has been done and the most important one that enhances the growth of the sector is the prompt payment of Salaries and allowances of
He paid us as at when due and he is the first governor in the country to pay far above the N18, 000 Minimum wage; it is N22, 000 here. The governor’s effort is yielding results as our pupils are doing great in their studies. One of the students came out as the best overall student in the last WAEC. All these coupled together is having a tremendous impact in the sector at both primary and secondary level in the State. The State University and Polytechnic were not left out as a lot of funding were put into infrastructural development, while new policies that enhance the standard of tertiary education in the state was also put in place.
The creation of the State University of Science and Technology was also in line with the government policies of developing skilful professionals who will advance the course of the State technologically and economically through the entrepreneurial skills.
The urban renewal programme of the Olusegun Mimiko administration is
a physical manifestation of his compliance with the global trend. Apart from expansion and construction of road across the state, the governor in one of his interviews with pressmen disclosed that “ in urban renewal, we promised our people that Akure would be a modern City that we would embark on massive urban renewal programme starting
with Akure, the capital city.
It is a 30 years programme that we set up to renew our cities. We don’t just destroy shanties and send people to the street and deepen poverty, we have taken them off the street. We took them off commercially to a conducive world class environment. And one of such market is the Isikan Market, the shop owners who have no idea of what will happen to their old stores could not believe what they saw when the place was transformed into an ultra modern market of world standard paying less.
One of the markets women simply identified as Mrs Temenu disclosed that “the Governor is just too wonderful; we are enjoying many of the necessary infrastructures in this market. We pay less, we have police station for security, fire stations is also here, and we are enjoying more patronage than before”. The government also put in place a
maintenance committee headed by Chief Banji Fatukasi, Specia Adviser
to the Governor on Project Monitoring and the General Secretary, Comrade Abiodun Falohun said the market maintenance committee was set up to oversee the maintenance of the market.
The yet to be commissioned ultramodern markets at Arakale, popularly called NEPA market, is another testimony of the Mimiko’s administration commitment to turn Akure City into a bride of all cities in the world. Mr Gboye Adegbenro, the Commissioner for works in he State in a chart with the press informed that the present administration in the State has done a lot in infrastructural development in the state. In his word, “ this administration has completed over 200 kilometres road inherited from the past
administration and has within three years constructed more than 300 kilometres of road across the state., we have a done lot of project” he said.
Asides the quality road project, Mr Adegebenro also disclosed that there were road furniture’s and display of road signs while the roundabout are designed in such a way that it will contribute to the aesthetics nature of the road. The fountain dew spewing fountain at Fiwasaye Junction and the fountain at Nepa junction both in Akure
are superb, though the issue of maintenance is a matter of concern to many people but the Works Commissioner disclosed that the contractor will maintain it for five years and that some banks have initiated interest in maintaining the place. “We are not stopping at the state capital alone, it is going to be in other major cities and
towns in the State but we want to be through with Akure first.
The intensive health care delivery introduced by the administration is second to none in Africa. The Governor who believe that the best way to tackle poverty in the State is to take care of health of the people introduced a lot of health programme that are seriously affecting the lives of the people in Ondo state. Hospitals across the State have been expanded and equipped with world class medical equipment.
While new ones were built in many communities including the coastal areas. The introduction of mother and child and Abiye health project has gone a long way in drastically reducing the maternal and infant mortality and other related problems associated with birth and infant growth.
Dr Dayo Adeyanju, the Commissioner for Health in Ondo state maintained that this present administration is going to leave a legacy that never in Ondo state will a pregnant woman die.
“We are going to leave a legacy that our children will begin to live beyond the age of five, a legacy that our health workers and the people will not be subjected to trial and error to get diagnoses, a precise diagnostic through the Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre, a legacy such that when accident occurs on our highways, within 15 minutes help should come and lives be saved”.
In a bid to achieve this, the government does not only handle the issue of welfare of the medical workers with seriousness; ambulances and other facilities were made available for the use of the people.
Many speakers at the inauguration of one of the ultra modern motor park constructed by the Mimiko administration in Ondo road Akure, poured encomiums on Governor Mimiko for the innovations. The motor park which was described as first in Africa by Chief Olu Falae, former Presidential Candidate was quoted to have described it ‘car airport’ (airport awon Onimoto) and this was base on the facilities available at the motor park. The Governor did not stop at just repositioning the transport system through construction of roads and motor parks, he also gave out buses and car to members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Union NURTW, and Road
Transport Employers Association of Nigeria RTEAN at a reasonable rate and regulate cost of transport to taxi N30 naira within the state capital.
As part of his urban renewal effort, the government also embarks on construction of Mechanic Village along Ondo road. The village is equipped with the necessary facilities such as office workshops, borehole and a car wash. The village also has about hundred shops for spare part dealers.
Mimiko’s administration in Ondo state through his caring heart projects has not only demonstrated confidence, belief and thrust reposed in him by the electorate but has done wonderfully well as he created youth empowerment and wealth creation. He has also proved to the world that government should be an avenue to rebuild dilapidated
infrastructural facilities; make people smile and leave behind a sustainable legacy that can make one to forever be relevant in the political history of the State, the nation and even Africa as a whole.