MIMIKO HAS JUST STARTED THE GOOD WORKS


Hon. Ifedayo Olugbenga Akinsoyinu is of the Labour Party extraction representing Ondo West Constituency II at the Ondo State House of Assembly for a record of third term, where he holds the position of Majority Leader.

Having won election under the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 and later contested under the platform of Labour Party in 2007 and 2011 also winning on both occasion, he is one of the most experienced in the hallowed legislative chamber of Ondo State House of Assembly and in this special encounter with Olusiji Balogun and Egbodofo Olu Johnson, he spoke on several issues surrounding the 2nd term of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, declaring that the people will be better for it.

Excerpts:

  • From your experience as a third term legislator under different administrations in Ondo State briefly do an analysis of the administrations in Ondo State since 1999.

 

Well, from 1999, you will agree with me that we were coming from a badly and highly militarized background and that impinged so much on the performances of those in administration between 1999 and 2003. At that time we were still adjusting we were just acclimatizing to new democratic environment, democratic values and all the rest.

2003 was a major improvement on that of 1999 dispensation, 2007 further improvement and 2011 better and further improvement and accomplishment.

What I am saying in essence is that our democracy can only be pictured using a scenario of an aircraft trying to take off in 1999, gathering momentum to take a flight. In 2003, it took that flight and tried to reach its highest altitude in 2007, and in 2011 it tried to stabilize and go for its full cruise to its destination.

Taking generally especially in Ondo State here, we have come of age. We have tried to learn fast, tried to adjust fast, regardless of the fact that our psyche was badly militarized in the past. I think we have not faired badly at all. We are progressing democratically.

  • What is your overview assessment of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s first four years in office as governor of Ondo State?

 

Thank you so much. Let me put it the way lawyers will put it in legal parlance “Res Ipsa Loquitur” meaning “the thing itself speaks”. For someone like me to assess the administration of Dr. Mimiko would look like pontification but the truth of the matter is that when something is good it has no other name than good and when something is bad it has no other name than bad.

Come to think of it, the present government in Ondo State emplaced a lot of transformational policies to attract unprecedented achievements in the area of health, in the area of education, in the area of sports, in agriculture and in the area of community development. Just think of it.

Taking for example the issue of maternal and infant mortality was very high and the government came up with the idea of Abiye safe motherhood programme which culminated into the construction of Mother and Child Hospital. Since then people have been visiting this facility. Since then we have not had casualties arisen from child birth to such an extent that Mr. Governor was invited by the UN to address that August gathering on how he was able to come up with the idea and he was able to run the programme successfully.

As a matter of fact the programme is taking the form of global benchmark in reducing maternal mortality. I remembered vividly when the governor was talking to us about the programme, he said one of his professors back then in school told them that the shortest distance to the grave is the distance between the navel and the pelvic of a woman during pregnancy and that was what informed the successful Abiye programme. So far, in this area of health he’s been able to reposition Ondo State even on the world map in such a way that people all over the world are asking where is Ondo State? because miracles are happening here and for your information the good things that have been happening in Ondo State within the last four years have no historical antecedent in the state and I can authoritatively say this because I have been involved in government since 1990 in this State when I started my career in politics as a councilor under SDP.

So I have been part of every successive administration since then, so I am in a vantage position to assess this government. In the last four years, this government has been able to take Ondo State to a greater height beyond the imagination of the voters.

Do we talk about education? It is during this government that students of the State started excelling in national examinations both WAEC and NECO a result of the activities of the newly established outfit called QEAD, Quality Education Assurance Agency with inspectors going round the schools to monitor and even encourage both students and teachers. Talk about community development that adopted the bottom top approach in taking development to the grassroots. A departure from what obtains in the past when government decides which project a community gets or not. This time around the governor commissioned his commissioner, Engr. Faboyede to go to far flunged communities within the nooks and crannies of Ondo State, assemble the people of the community and ask them what they need from government based on their priority. That is democracy because this government in the last four years is what people call ‘our government not their government.’

The man had a vision before becoming the governor and this he has demonstrated through his leadership in the past four years and in simple word it has been fantastic. What we are witnessing now in this State has never happened before when it comes to development and peaceful coexistence.

  • What has been the contribution of the House of Assembly to all these positive and giant strides?

The primary duty of the House of Assembly is to make laws and so far we have been able to make so many laws to support the present administration like the issue of maternal mortality we passed a law brought by the executive that for every death that occurs while a pregnant woman tries to deliver a baby must be recorded for every death that occurs in any maternity home, in any church, in any traditionalist house, in any maternity centre be it private or public it must be recorded. It doesn’t have to do with prosecution but with the objective to have a database for proper planning.

  • How many times have the assembly attempted to impeach the governor. A practice which has almost become a norm in our democracy?

 

You only try to impeach a governor that has committed an impeachable offence or offences but with what I’ve been talking about that kind of situation is far from us. Somebody came to government to ensure the well being of his subjects, to inject transformational agenda, to elevate the state, to make the state a cynosure of all eyes and also make his policies and achievements benchmark for the entire world and some people will think of impeachment. It is not possible. Is that how to reward hard work? He is doing more than enough, as a matter of fact, if the constitution has given the House of Assembly the power to amend the law, in such a way that the governor should go for third term we should give him. It is not flattery, things are speaking for themselves.

 

  • How sure are you that after securing the second term mandate, the good works would be sustained?

 

They would be definitely sustained. For people who don’t have a particular mission, people who are not driven by mission to serve, after first four years they mess up the next four years which is their last tenure. That is for those without mission and vision.

But for someone driven by passion to serve, driven by that passion of patriotism to make the state one of the best as a matter of fact his vision is not to make Ondo State the best administered state in Nigeria, he wants to make Ondo State one of the best administered states in Africa and the world in general. All I have to say is that for someone who has this type of patriotic vision like Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, we have just started. The people of the state have just started witnessing giant developmental strides. I can assure you that the next four years would be a remarkable improvement on the previous four years.

He has a long way to go. He is not ending his career as a governor after the next four years. No! He is still moving higher. For someone who still has more than four years in his career as a politician, he is bound to do more for his people.

  • Given any opportunity to serve at the national level after his four years, do you see him making any positive contribution at that level with the present political situation?

 

If you remember the parable of the master who gave talents to his workers, then you will agree with the judgement of the master that “for you have been faithful with a little you should be given more”. The analogy is very simple for him to have done well at this micro level, he will surely do well at the national level which is macro once given the opportunity. He is not new to the national politics or national service in the first instance; don’t forget he once served meritoriously as a minister of the Federal Republic. Based on his antecedents if given higher assignments I’m confident he will excel.

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