Mimiko: A Man Who Failed To Lead Ondo To The Promised Land By Adewale Giwa


This article of mine is designed to wish the outgoing governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, ‘goodbye’ for years of failure to lead the people of Ondo State to the promised land. In the history of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimko remains the first governor who has completed two terms in office. Unfortunately, the governor used his years of service to manipulate the minds of his people. William Shakespeare said, “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” In the case of ‘Iroko’ of Ondo State, he focused all his years on pure politics, selfishness, egocentrism, malice, iniquity and spite.

Permit me to quickly take you to the scriptures. As Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s palace, he learned all the wisdom of Egypt. In spite of growing up in the palace, he loved his people of Israel and did go to free them whenever they encountered challenges. One day, when he was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, God appeared and told him to rescue the people of Israel from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious and pleasant land. God knew that the people of Israel were suffering and appointed Moses to lead them out of Egypt where they were being used as slaves.

Above all, Moses did as God commanded and led the people of Israel out of Egypt despite challenges he faced before he could get his work done. At the desert of Zin, the people of Israel were thirsty, begging for water to drink. They gathered themselves against Moses and the Lord later spoke to Moses and told him to take the staff and speak to the rock and it will pour out water for his people to drink. Moses and his brother Aaron gathered the people together in front of the rock and said, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then, Moses raised his arm and angrily struck the rock twice with his staff and water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. For Moses to have done this, the Lord was displeased with his actions, saying “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” One may ask why did Moses warrant such a severe penalty from the Lord? The answer is simple, because he disobeyed the commandment of the LORD.

How could it have been so good for a man to start a journey and end it well? Dr. Mimiko started well, but it is unfortunate that he fails to end his journey well. Just eight days from today, Mimiko will cease to be attending a meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum in Nigeria. It will be added to the history book of Ondo State that Dr. Mimiko is the governor who left his workers unpaid for about seven months compared to his predecessors. Presently, the Ondo State House of Assembly members dominated by PDP are at loggerheads with one another, following the interference of Governor Mimiko over the impeachment of their speaker, Jumoke Akindele. The Assembly was later sealed off by the order of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. The crisis over Jumoke Akindele has left the Assembly in shambles, and demonstrates the governor’s failure to keep order in his own state.

Should we now say this is a good development for Mimiko? The answer is ‘no’! Fourteen PDP Lawmakers are away in Ibadan waiting for Mimiko’s tenure to end. Is this not a sign that Governor Mimiko’s eight-year tenure is nothing but a ruse? The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. 2009, when Dr. Mimiko came into power, feels just like yesterday but he has forgotten that things cannot continue to be the same. To Rahman Mimiko, it is as if he could try to hold on to power like Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia but time is no longer on his side as the incoming governor Rotimi Akeredolu has concluded arrangements to take over the mantle of leadership. One must surely pity Dr. Mimiko for not producing a successor as governor who he can easily control. What good is the achievement of a person who leaves an office without having a successor?

Of course, it is glaring to the people of Ondo State that the word ‘achievement’ is being used to console themselves. Deep inside them, it is a total failure. If not for the sake of desperation, the outgoing government would have sponsored different groups to call for the postponement of last year’s governorship election just to perfect plans to allegedly rig the election. Recalling that he has failed to transform the state around, it is on record that governor Mimiko’s eight-year tenure in government has caused a major setback among the comity of states in Nigeria.

Anyway, a lot has been said in the past, but I just want to wish ‘Iroko’ goodbye and say that people of the state will forever remember you, either for the good or the bad.

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