by Michael Orodare
…just as his first term has been awarded with a distinction, he will surely surpass the first term achievements and score another Grade A performance in his second term.
It first seems like an impossible mission when he assembled his kinsmen in 2006 to declare to them that he was going to run for the number one seat of the sunshine state in the 2007 governorship election. Many told him to go sit down, many said he does not have what it takes to wrest power from the incumbent. Ceteris paribus, he became the number one citizen after a 2-year legal tussle.
This is the story of the man popularly called ‘Iroko,’ the Governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko. When he declared at his inauguration in 2009 to work for the people, many would have taken that phrase as a cliché, the people of Ondo state who had just been betrayed and wounded by the ousted PDP government the word ‘I will work for you’ might sound in-genuine and insincere to them.
Four years gone, it is so clear to all that the Mimiko government has definitely walked the talk, and in Mimiko’s word at his inaugural speech, his Labour Party-led government in Ondo state has “demonstrated that governance is about sincerity of purpose; about keeping faith with the populace.” This he has not deviated from doing since assuming in February 2009.
For the Medical Doctor cum politician, the first term was four years of restructuring, re-building, re-engineering and retooling of all sectors of the state economy.
What other assurance do the people need from a caring heart government other that the one stated by Mimiko at his inauguration at the weekend, that “Every inch of the road, every square meter of the school compound and indeed every tablet in the pharmacy of public hospitals belong to all of us.” It is in Ondo state that people now see government as ‘ours’ and not ‘theirs’.
In just four years, the Mimiko government took delivery of over 644 community projects; it revitalized the state’s sport sector which has been in comatose. he positive direction. Mimiko’s Abiye Safe Motherhood initiative has been recommended by health experts across the globe as the benchmark to reverse the prevalent high mortality rate among “Mother and Child” in Nigeria and the Africa continent. This has, and still receiving local and international accolades, among many other numerous feasible achievements scattered across the state.
For a governor who understands the impending danger for any society which toys with provision of qualitative education for its younger citizens, investing massively in such sector, just as Mimiko has done in the past four years, is definitely not a wasted resources, otherwise multiplication of the tribe of hooligans, armed robbers, and other anti-social vices would be the order of the day in the society.
In his first term, the Mimiko government has changed the story of Adekunle Ajasin University, the institution which was once derided as a glorified secondary school, is now on track as a 21st century university, so properly called. Just as the education sector is receiving a fillip, so is all other sectors of the state receiving great fillip for change in the positive direction.
Despite all these landmark achievements in the first term, Mimiko has declared for the umpteenth time that the sun will continue to shine.
The mission to rescue Ondo state from the brink of fiasco it suffered from the past PDP government, and the mission to set it in the committee of role model states, has been discovered and it’s being fulfilled by the Dr. Olusegun Mimiko-led government.
As Mimiko has stated in his inaugural address that his administration’s major focus “shall be on an aggressive drive at job creation for our teeming youths through innovative and durable programmes that will engender sustainable livelihood.” To achieve this, he said the state government is undertaking a 30MW Independent Power Project in Ore to provide independent power that will attract several industries to Ondo State.
There is no iota of doubt in the fact that Mimiko is not resting on his oars, just as his first term has been awarded with a distinction, he will surely surpass the first term achievements and score another Grade A performance in his second term.
As he promised to work and has worked for the people in his first term, so he has clearly stated again in his inaugural address on Sunday 24th February 2013, that the work to rebuild Ondo and make it the cynosure of all eyes is not finished until the dividends of democracy get to every home whether at the rural or at the urban centre of the state.
Ultimately, the clear message in the Mimiko’s inaugural speech is more a reflection of the fact that a large part of his government’s programmes in the second term will be tailored round developing and building a brighter future for the younger generation, with vivid evident for fulfilment just in the like manner in which he fulfilled his first term promises.
Michael Olanrewaju Orodare has worked in the Office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Ondo State Governor as a Media Assistant. He has garnered experience writing in the The Nation Newspaper working with the paper’s Sunday Desk. He blogs at www.michaelorodare.blogspot.com and tweets from @MichaelOrodare
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