By Banji Kuroloja
That Governor Olusegun Mimiko is five years in the saddle as the elected Governor of Ondo State is no news. It is equally no news that Mimiko is the first elected Governor of Ondo State whose second term election still remains standing.
What is news, to me, and to the good people of the Sunshine State, is that five years on, both Mimiko and his government are still popular with the people as the blessings of God and the dividends of democracy continue to flow unabated.
In this piece, we shall enumerate a few, only a very few, dividends of democracy, that is, concrete laudable achievements of the Mimiko administration since February 2009. But before then, we need to look at the issue of the success of the administration.
Why has the Mimiko regime succeeded this far? Why is it still succeeding? All we need do here is dabble into the difficult realm of speculation.
Those two questions above, to many, sound too simple. Yes, the Mimiko Government has succeeded so far and is still succeeding because of hard-work, dedication to duty, respect for the yearnings of the people, etc.
If you say just or only one of the above answers, you will be adjudged right. Perfectly right. Mimiko and his government succeed because of those causes. But to me, the Iroko and his government succeed principally because of God. Because Mimiko places God as number one in all that he does, God in return ensures that he succeeds tremendously.
Governor Mimiko’s first ‘magic’ of success this past five years is the Almighty God. I remember our state – wide campaigns in 2007. Before going out every morning, Dr. Mimiko would ask that our movement be placed in the stainless hands of the Almighty God. Traversing the length and breadth of Ondo State was therefore like a child’s play for us as the Almighty God took control.
One of the great lessons I learnt during the campaigns is that putting God first in all that you do is a rewarding exercise. Especially if you do so with a clear conscience, doing good to all who come across you and endeavouring to forgive those who sinned against you. The first key to success in life is what I have just enumerated.
In continuation of his demonstration of his love for God, Mimiko began a programme of praising God towards the end of every month since he became Governor of Ondo State. Today, his monthly praise night at the State Cultural Centre, Alagbaka is well known to all Nigerians. Are you still not clear about the reason of his success?
The other reasons I have mentioned earlier on. These include doing the wish of the people. Hard work is an issue that cannot be glossed over. This past five years has seen Mimiko working literally like a ‘jackal’ to satisfy the teeming population of Ondo State .
The way and manner Governor Mimiko pursues the task ahead of him speak volumes about his unalloyed dedication to duty. As a matter of fact, Mimiko’s style of administration makes governance appear simple to undertake.
In five years what are the projects that the Mimiko government has put in place? Roads readily come to mind. In Akoko, government has completed a number of roads, some of which were bad for over 20 years. Do I hear that the same government is planning to dualize Ikare’s main central road?
The dualization of the central main road in Owo is now history. It is regarded as one of the best in the South West. Arakale-Isinkan road, against the belief of people that it couldn’t be done, is now a beauty to behold. With his characteristic doggedness, Mimiko dualized that road which several governments before his could not muster enough courage and political will to dualize.
The question of abandoned projects has no place in the reckoning of Governor Mimiko as his administration completed all the projects the late Governor Olusegun Agagu could not complete before he was forced out of Alagbaka Government House. Most of these projects are roads. The Akure-Oba-Ile-Airport road is ongoing. It is Mimiko’s government babe.
Then we move to Ondo, the home of the Ekimoguns. This Government is dualizing some roads there, especially the one from the junction of Ile-Oluji road down to Ademulegun Roundabout. The road from Akure Garage place through Idisin to All Saints Cathedral is also being dualized.
Have you visited the Southern District of the State these past months? You would have traveled on first-class roads like those in the central and northern parts of the state. When roads are made good transportation and traveling are rendered easy and made comfortable. That is the lot of the good people of Ondo State in the Mimiko era.
In a paper like this you can never have enough time and space to enumerate the countless projects that the Mimiko Government has completed and delivered onto the hands of the people. It is perhaps important to state that most of the projects of the administration have the citizens of the state as the direct beneficiaries.
In other words, the project are all people-oriented. Of course, all the over 4000 projects completed and delivered by the State Ministry of Community Development and Cooperative Services are purely and wholly for the rural people. Let us look at the education front. At the primary level, the Mimiko Government has completed and delivered about 40 caring Heart Mega Schools across the state.
Any stranger to any part of Ondo State would marvel at the sheer magnificent structures of the Mega Schools. Some people take them for universities! The novel addition to the Mega Schools is the provision of school free shuttle buses across the state. The singular purpose of the buses is to convey pupils and students to and from schools FREE of charge.
The additional information at my disposal about the continuing success of the Mimiko Administration is that the good people of the state who enjoy the numerous dividends of democracy reciprocate the great dividends through their unceasing prayers. They pray daily for Mimiko and his family. They pray for the Caring Heart Government for the marvelous jobs it is doing. Surely, the prayers of a happy people are usually answered by the Almighty God.