by Ojay Kaikai
Governor Mimiko is no doubt one of Nigeria’s best, surpassing his contemporaries by ”bench marking” (using his words) some developmental projects but few weeks ago, the governor made a dangerous detour by hunting down some supposed ghost workers, who were actually legitimate workers, filling normal vacant positions not a faceless workforce or some names made up by a local government boss to defraud the government whose only crime was employing them in the first place.
Governor Mimiko deserves a pat on the back for turning Ondo state to a mini paradise. The school kids board free buses to and from school, the state primary mega school could pass for most private colleges of education in today’s Nigeria, the state motherhood hospital is such that even the very rich dump the service of their erstwhile private doctors to access the great service, but to underscore this, the government had done little in the area of job creation.
Some will even argue that this administration has placed an embargo on employment. If the governor Mimiko graduated from O.A.U, at the time he did, he must have sat in the state of the art lecture room, fitted with air conditioning, sound proof and a TV, from there to a cafeteria in either Awo hall or Fajuyi hall to an evening meal supplemented with a whole chicken per student, then to a coffee room. Student had so much coffee that some wash their hands with it before retiring to a room kept by cleaners and the clothes laundered. Nigeria no doubt has been kind to it’s leaders and the only way they could pay back is to help the desperate youth, even in a private capacity. If this present Nigeria were the case then, Governor Mimiko won’t be governor today.
The issue of the said ghost workers, was as a result of the growing unemployment in Ondo state. The local government bosses could not withstand the pressure and had to recruit, though through the back door. This raises a moral question; even though the governor does not approve of this employment, there are vacant position that need to be filled. The governor might premise it’s argument on the fact that there is no legal council officers because of the court case over the matter but it is also convenient for the governor to convert the allocations and overtake the project, claiming all the glory but not willing to bear the responsibilities. The governor must note that the local government bosses are at the grass root and close to the people and thus know when to employ.
I wonder why the people of Ondo state are not protesting yet although one cannot take it away from the governor that he manages the propaganda machinery in the state very well. However, the people of Ondo state must be informed that the governor might be doing this tactically to eject massively from the work force just so he might recruit fewer people, calculating ahead of a rerun with the indication of things from the state election tribunal.
Governor Mimiko has no excuse not to recruit even where the national assembly had a passing mention of paying unemployed graduates. How then will a progressive like Mimiko not recruit? How then will he sustain his developmental thrive? Money should not be an issue here, since he had joined in the care free borrowing, and was alleged to have received seven hundred billion both as allocation and tax which makes a mockery of all the projects carried out combined.
Rather than this botched ghost hunting, governor Mimiko should recall the sacked workers and recruit at least thirty thousand youth, that was the possibility the ACN candidate put upon on the minds of the people during his election campaign.
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