Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees

RIGHT now, the whole of Nigeria is celebrating the recent judgement by the Justice Garba Nabaruma-led Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure, which rightly declared that Dr Olusegun Mimiko won the 2007 gubernatorial election in Ondo State and should be immediately sworn in as governor.

In a clear-cut case, the tribunal easily came to the conclusion that Dr Mimiko won the election and there was no dissenting judgment from any member of the five-man panel. Having studied the evidence before it, the tribunal stated that Dr Mimiko was able to prove his petition that Dr Olusegun Agagu did not score the highest number of lawful votes cast nor did he meet the constitutional requirements of scoring 25% in at least two-thirds of the state's local government areas.

In a 70-minute verdict, the tribunal declared Dr Mimiko the winner of the April 14,2007 governorship election with a total number of 198,269 votes while Dr Agagu, who was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), only scored 128,669 votes. Justice Nabaruma also ordered Inec to issue a certificate of return to Dr Mimiko.

Across the length and breadth of Nigeria, the verdict is being hailed as not only a victory for democracy but also a relief that there is still hope for our judicial system. After the recent verdicts involving David Mark and Olagundoye Oyinlola, many Nigerians had begun the question the independence of the judiciary, so this Mimiko victory was a welcome relief.

While the rest of Nigeria celebrates and the likes of Afenifere, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties all issued statements hailing the verdict, the people of Ondo State have no time to join in the celebrations. Yes, it is nice to get your vote counted and the candidate you elected named as your governor but that is only the first step in a journey of thousands of miles.

For starters, even Dr Agagu knows that he did not win that election, so he should please do the honourable thing and stand down. Ondo State probably had the most clear cut election in 2007, in which Dr Mimiko won by a landslide, so taking the matter to appeal is only going to prolong the agony for the Ondo State people.

If Dr Segun Agagu wants to redeem himself for his mismanagement of Ondo State and occupy the moral high ground, he should do the unthinkable and refuse to appeal. Imagine how he will go down in the annals of Nigerian history if he accepts the verdict and refuses to challenge it.

I also wonder if those around Dr Agagu ever tell him that he did absolutely nothing during his first four years as governor and that in an ideal democracy, his party would not have renominated him in 2007. By my estimation, Segun Agagu was by far the worst governor in Nigeria between 2003 and 2007 and I challenge him to point to one single solid achievement he can boast of during his first tenure.

For those who do not know, Ondo State receives the fifth largest oil allocation in Nigeria. It has everything a state could wish for including cocoa, palm oil, kolanuts, rubber, timber, cassava, maize, bitumen, tourism potential at Idanre Hills, a massive transport industry at Ore, one of the highest number of skilled and graduate workers and the potential or a high-tech economy.

I have spent the last 10 years working in commodity trading in the UK and know for a fact that similar regions to Ondo State in other parts of the world generate at least $50bn in foreign exchange earnings. I wonder is Segun Agagu has ever been to Bahia in Brazil, Sumatra in Indonesia, Borneo in Malaysia, Entre Rios in Argentina, India's Uttar Pradesh or Punjab in Pakistan.

Does he know that Malaysia makes $10bn from palm oil exports alone? I take it that Dr Agagu is aware of the fact that Malaysia originally got their palm oil seedlings from Nigeria.

Is Dr Agagu also aware of the fact that every commercial survey so far has shown that Ondo State is sitting on $10bn worth of annual bitumen exports? I find it hard to understand how Dr Agagu, a professor of geology from my alma mata UI, cannot come up with a means to make bitumen a cash cow for Ondo State.

Even if the Nigerian economy is bad and in a terrible state, Ondo State should be immune by simple virtue of its natural resources. Economic regeneration aside, what has Dr Agagu done when it comes to the provision of basic social and physical amenities?

Just cross the border in neighbouring Ekiti State and you will think you are in another country when you see how Ayo Fayose kept the street clean, installed public bins, put in street lights, etc. For all his faults and his corruption, Fayose at least appreciated the need to keep people motivated by providing a few signs of government presence in his state.

If you want to go further, cross the border westwards and see how Gbenga Daniels turned Olumo Rock into a tourist attraction. What stopped Agagu from doing the same at Idanre? Do you know that Idanre has more potential than Obudu?

Given all this and the lamentable fact that Ondo State has simply refused to make any use of its natural resources, now is not a time for celebration but one for sober reflection. Dr Segun Mimiko has got to show that he will make a difference, or replacing one hapless governor with another represents nothing more than a beauty contest.

I for one will be keeping a close eye on Dr Mimiko's cabinet. His appointments will give us an indication of what direction he intends to take our beloved state. Will we see radical changes or the typical chop-make-I-chop politics of the status quo?

Dr Mimiko also has to come up with tough targets for his commissioners. For instance, the education commissioner has to cut class sizes to 35 within a year or lose his job, the works commissioner must tar 500km of road a year or lose his job, the health commissioner must cut infant deaths by 10% a year or lose his job, the water resources commissioner must give 5,000 people potable water a year or get kicked out.

Dr Mimiko must also come up with revenue generating programmes designed to make Ondo State self-sufficient without any federal allocation. He should have projections that look like this: cocoa - $10bn; bitumen - $10bn; tourism - $10bn, palm oil - $5bn, timber - $5bn; transport - $5bn; kolanuts - $5bn; cassava - $5bn.

In Nigeria, we are very good are sharing revenue in Nigeria but poor at generating it. Mimiko should stand up and say: "Ondo State will be different. We do not want Abuja handouts."

What we need to do here is put together programmes to make Ondo State the agro-industrial powerhouse of Nigeria. For starters, how do we get the Ile-Oluji cocoa processing plant, the Okitipupa oil mill, the Ondo Nirowi timber plant and Idanre Hills earning Ondo State money?

Dr Mimiko, enough of the jubilation now. Let us get on with the serious business of turning Ondo State around. We need to get cocoa, timber, palm oil, cassava, kolanut, bitumen, etc processing up and running. We need to get Idanre Hills turned into a tourist attraction and the unique status of Ore as a major transportation hub needs to be exploited.

Ondo State should easily generate $20bn a year in foreign export earnings a year by the end of your tenure. Only time will tell if the man nicknamed Iroko is as sturdy a character as his name suggests.

 



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Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Denker posted on 07-26-2008, 11:41:05 AM
QUOTE:
Dr Mimiko must also come up with revenue generating programmes designed to make Ondo State self-sufficient without any federal allocation.


..if we do not sabi dat bloke very well....i fit agree with you..but, unfortunately the reverse is the case, my dear...!
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Ikechukwu posted on 07-26-2008, 13:59:29 PM
Ha! Mimiko should not rejoice yet o! The Appeal court is full of some judges from the Mars, so jubilating might be too early o! I don talk my own. Cheers
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Dr. S Adetunji posted on 07-26-2008, 14:34:43 PM
QUOTE:
Is Dr Agagu also aware of the fact that every commercial survey so far has shown that Ondo State is sitting on $10bn worth of annual bitumen exports? I find it hard to understand how Dr Agagu, a professor of geology from my alma mata UI, cannot come up with a means to make bitumen a cash cow for Ondo State.


Like oil, is the bitumen FGN property or state property? Just curious.
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Olusola posted on 07-26-2008, 14:40:12 PM
The verdict of the tribunal is welcome, I however do not expect anything significant from Mimiko even if he eventually wins at the appeal court. He has always been part of all the rogues. If not for his ambition to be a governor at all cost, he would still have been part of the Agagu-led PDP govt. Many don't seem to understand that the fight between Agagu and Mimiko goes beyond election matter, it is a fight for political survival. My wish is that something should just rid Ondo state of the two thieves who have unleashed terror on the state in the past one year. For those who think that a win by Mimiko represents victory for the people, take a look at the people around him,
his deputy,Ali Olanusi was state PDP chairman from 2003 until when he fell out with Agagu in 2007,the Chairman of LP in the state, Olaiya Oni,was also a key PDP member before they fell out on issues relating to patronage.
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Bobokite posted on 07-26-2008, 15:32:56 PM
Person wey sell im dog buy monkey, na still animal wey dey squat he get for house. Mimiko is just another version of Agagu so no need to celebrate…
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Eleniyan posted on 07-26-2008, 19:31:23 PM
How I wish anyone of our "rulers" could think logically and responsibly as this writer.
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Tunde meee posted on 07-27-2008, 02:49:24 AM
QUOTE:
The verdict of the tribunal is welcome, I however do not expect anything significant from Mimiko even if he eventually wins at the appeal court. He has always been part of all the rogues. If not for his ambition to be a governor at all cost, he would still have been part of the Agagu-led PDP govt. Many don't seem to understand that the fight between Agagu and Mimiko goes beyond election matter, it is a fight for political survival. My wish is that something should just rid Ondo state of the two thieves who have unleashed terror on the state in the past one year. For those who think that a win by Mimiko represents victory for the people, take a look at the people around him,
his deputy,Ali Olanusi was state PDP chairman from 2003 until when he fell out with Agagu in 2007,the Chairman of LP in the state, Olaiya Oni,was also a key PDP member before they fell out on issues relating to patronage.



If this mimiko guy is as bad as you have just mentioned, Obj could have succeeded in intimidating him to submission when he refused not to contest against Agagu in 2007. Remember he actually submitted himself for probe when obj threatened to unleash EFCC on his trail.

This may be helpful in refreshing our memory (http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=117899)

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko's many years in politics dates back to his university days at Ile-Ife where he was at various times a member of the Students' Representative Council (Parliament) and Chairman of its Special Honours Committee. For a period in 1976, he was elected Chairman (Speaker) of the Students Representative Council.
As a full-fledged politician, Dr. Mimiko served as the Publicity Secretary of the Ondo Local Government chapter of the Obafemi Awolowo-led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in 1983. During the Third Republic, he was elected twice as ex-officio member of the Social Democratic Party's (SDP) Executive Council in Ondo Local Government Area. He also served as a member of the party's Disciplinary Committee.
In recognition of his extensive involvement in grassroots mobilization during the Third Republic, Dr. Mimiko was appointed Commissioner for Health and Social Services in January 1992.
Again, in recognition of his contribution to the victory of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the 1999 governorship election in Ondo State, Dr. Mimiko was appointed the Commissioner for Health in the State, the second time he would hold the office.
On November 7, 2002, Mimiko resigned his appointment as Commissioner for Health, "for strictly personal reasons."
The declaration of Mimiko for the PDP prior to the 2003 Election was supervised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, at a well attended rally held within the Ondo State Sports Complex. At the rally, Obasanjo described the new alliance as a victorious union as implied by their first names (Olusegun Obasanjo, Olusegun Agagu and Olusegun Mimiko).
The suspicion between Mimiko and his boss, Agagu over the 2007 race led to the cat and mouse game as the governor saw him as a threat to his position. Though the disagreement between them was silent, Agagu was baffled when Obasanjo without his knowledge appointed him as the Minister of Housing and Urban development.
Convinced of the desire of the people of the Sunshine State for a change, Mimiko again yielded to the call to contest the governorship of the state but with a dilemma of which party to contest under. It was obvious then that the people he left in AD which then had disintegrated into AD, Action Congress, Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and other parties would gang up against him.
In December 2006, he resigned his office as Minister and took up membership of the Labour Party and formally announced his decision to run for the office of governor of the state at a well-attended rally at the Akure City Hall on December 14, 2006. He emerged the party's gubernatorial candidate for the State.
In a twist of fate, what former president Olusegun Obasanjo thought would be a minus to Mimiko was part of all he needed to win the sympathy of the people. Obasanjo, during one of his campaign for the endorsement of Agagu said Mimiko's political career was doomed.
Obasanjo, who spoke humorously, described him as an ingrate.
Obasnjo said when Mimiko wanted to resign, he advised him against doing it but he replied him that his supporters would kill him saying "my supporters will kill me o" and the whole crowd yelled "Amen."
The former president in an attempt to discredit Mimiko said though he had left, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) would look into his activities in office.
However, Obasanjo's comment rather than whittle down Mimiko's popularity, bostered his support base. He eventually contested the 2007 gubernatorial election on the platform of LP and lost in controversial circumstances to Agagu.
Mimiko was born on 3rd October, 1954 in Ondo State. He entered St. Joseph 's College, Ondo, in 1966, and left with the West African School Certificate in 1970. Between 1971 and 1972, he was a Higher School Certificate (HSC) student at the popular Gboluji Grammar School, Ile-Oluji. Mimiko entered the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife in 1972. In 1976, he bagged a B.Sc. Health Sciences; and the MB; CH.B in 1980. He is registered with the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council as a Medical Practitioner.
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Kabikala posted on 07-28-2008, 08:09:07 AM
I agree entirely with Olusola and similar like-minded contributors that it is really foolhardy to believe or even hope that Mimiko will turn the fortunes of Ondo State around. He has always been and is in fact still a part of the rot in the Nigerian system that we need to be rid of in order to make any real progress.
Mimiko has been Ondo State Commissioner for Health and Secretary to the State Government under different regimes and he has not brought any change to the health system or governance as we know it in the sunshine state. As Housing Minister, what did he achieve?
I daresay that but for personal ambition, Mimiko would have not seen any evil in the PDP as he was always going around to locate where his bread will be best buttered.
And then the fact that he is a candidate of the welfarist Labour Party! I would have laughed at that but for its tragedy. That guy has never been pro-labour or pro-worker at any time in his political career. Let anyone convince me otherwise by quoting any statement he had ever made in support of the workers' struggles against various government exploitative policies.

Blessed are those who do not hope for they shall not be disappointed.

In spite of all these however, I am convinced Mimiko won the election and he should be given his mandate. That is democracy. That is rule of law. The appeal court should do what is right!
Re: Mimiko Must Get Ondo State Off Her Knees
Dapxin posted on 09-14-2008, 18:39:06 PM
QUOTE:
Like oil, is the bitumen FGN property or state property? Just curious.


Its the property of the FGN. They had this building somewhere near Alagbaka Qtrs, in akure.

Back then, the degree of apparent joblessness perpetuated in the building was 99.9%.
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