Between Anyaoku, Mimiko And Ondo Opposition Parties | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Between Anyaoku, Mimiko And Ondo Opposition Parties

Posted: Mar 9, 2016 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Temidayo Akinsuyi

Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  fixed November 26 2016 for the conduct of the governorship election in Ondo state, politicians who before now  kept a low profile have begun to intensify their  desire for the top post in the state.  Indeed Dr. Olusegun Mimiko whose tenure expires on February 23, 2017 has shown much interest on who succeeds him as the Chief Executive Officer of the state. An interesting aspect of his intention to play a major role on who comes after him is the determination to complete his administration’s on-going projects in the state.

Fortunately for governor  Mimiko, the 40th year anniversary of the creation of the state widely regarded as the ‘Sunshine state ‘ coincided with his seventh year anniversary as the Chief  Executive Officer of the state.  He therefore decided to use the occasion to commission several projects, while inviting dignitaries to have a firsthand knowledge of them.

One of such dignitaries invited by the governor was Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a highly respected elder statesman who served as former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. Anyaoku who arrived the state last week took time out to visit some of the projects of the Mimiko-led administration ahead of the symposium he chaired as part of activities marking the 7th anniversary of the Mimiko administration.

Speaking with newsmen, the highly revered statesman described the Mimiko-led administration‘s achievements as novel in all sectors of the state‘s economy, adding that in the last seven years the governor has demonstrated uncommon leadership in all sectors, particularly in the area of health.Therefore, he urged other states to take a cue from Ondo’s qualitative healthcare delivery, with a view to achieving the goal of Nigeria being a Medical Tourism destination.
Affirming the achievements of the Mimiko led government as “true transformation” Anyaoku said Nigeria would realize her dreams if the kind of welfare services provided by the Ondo state government becomes a common sight in other parts of the country.

Further describing Governor Mimiko’s style of governance as exceptional, Anyaoku noted: “since i arrived this state, I have seen so many projects. Mimiko is exceptional. If we have more of what I have seen in Ondo since I came, Nigeria will be the country of our dream.

I feel that if government at all levels in this country can improve their health facilities like it is happening in Ondo state, the jamboree of health tourism abroad will end, since there will be appreciable health facilities to cater for the citizens of the country as against wasting our funds abroad”.

While many supporters of the governor rejoiced over the encomiums heaped on Mimiko by Anyaoku, the reverse was the case with the opposition political parties in the state, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) who believed that the statements were more of a political campaign for the governor by the statesman.
In a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Abayomi Adesanya, the party described Anyaoku’s comments as untrue and misleading, and noted that Anyaoku should have visited more communities in the state before making his comments on Mimiko’s performance.

The party also accused Mimiko of abandoning uncompleted projects, adding that many roads had become deathtraps in the state. It claimed that Mimiko took over from the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu in 2009 with viable assets worth N44bn. It observed that while over N1.2 trillion had accrued to the state from the Federation Account for seven years, the debt profile of the state was stillover N150bn with nothing to show for it.

The statement partly read, “We were surprised when we read the statement made by Chief Anyaoku that Mimiko has transformed the state. He concluded by urging others to emulate the governor. For us as a party, it is utterly worrisome. We challenge Chief Anyaoku to make public what he saw in Ondo State to have made such a misleading assertion in less than eight hours of his visit to the state.

“The vision of our founding fathers was conceived to put Ondo State as the best among equals. Why did the government of Mimiko abandon projects that the Agagu administration could not complete? Projects like the Owena dam, the Olokola Free-Trade Zone, the uncompleted Akure Township Stadium at Araromi and the refinery he promised to build during his campaign for a second term are far from reality.”

Also echoing the sentiments of APC, a former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr. Olu Agunloye, described Mimiko’s plan to conduct local government election in Ondo State on April 23,  as a waste of resources and a means to compound the hardship in the state.

Agunloye, who addressed former members of the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party who defected to the Social Democratic Party in Igbara-Oke, the headquarters of the Ifedore Local Government Area of the state, on Monday, insisted that the SDP would not participate in the election.
Agunloye believes that there was no wisdom in conducting an election while workers had not been paid for over four months. He advised Governor Mimiko to use the funds meant for the election to pay the three months’ salaries of workers in the state.

He said, “We can’t continue to suffer like this. Many parents could no longer send their children to school because they could not afford to pay the tuition. All roads are in bad conditions and there are no employments for our youths. Even those who are working have not been paid.”
However, the state Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said if Agunloye was a true democrat, he would not describe the forthcoming council poll as a waste of resources. He said since the council election was a constitutional provision, the election was important because it would improve governance at the grass roots.

According to Akinmade, “Inasmuch as we don’t want to take issues with Dr. Agunloye, there is a constitutional provision to organize the council election. The reason why it was not organized long ago was because of pending issues in the court by the old PDP members.
“If Dr. Agunloye is a true democrat, he should commend the state government for organizing the elections. We wonder why the governorship election is important to him, while the council election is not. The opposition parties in the state had been clamouring for the council election to hold. We wonder why the SDP suddenly changed its position. The SDP is only crying foul because it has no structure on the ground to win the elections at the grass roots. Governor Mimiko needs to be commended for making sure that elections are held in the local government areas of the state.”