Those Who Call Mimiko’s Projects Cosmetic are Victims of Hallucination’’-Akinlaja
Honourable Joseph Iranola Akinlaja a federal parliamentarian representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency has said that the achievements of the state Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko in the last three and half years would guarantee him victory at the October 20, governorship election in Ondo State.
The former deputy President of Nigeria Labour Congress dropped these remarks when some media executives sort his opinion on the upcoming guber polls in the State. He said the confidence that the general public reposed in Mimiko's administration was a pointer to the fact that they had been positively touched by the policies and programmes. He berated the claims from some critics who in their infertile minds said Mimiko's projects are cosmetic, saying those who share such vicious propaganda and falsehoods are either ignorant or victims of hallucination.
The astute and irrepressible Labour Party chieftain said: ''I am not a sycophant, neither am I a political jobber; I have been a principled unionist all my life, fighting in the interest of the masses, my track records are there to verify by anybody who cares to know. Therefore I will never be part of any government that champions any policy that is anti-people. Specifically, Governor Mimiko led government has meritoriously distinguished itself in the areas which include Education, Health, Agriculture, Transport, Urban renewal, Community development, Housing and Sports among others. Through what has overtime become to be identified as the 'Iroko revolution' in the state, the government commenced the process of bridging the gap between the elite and masses as far as education is concerned. Those who said these sterling achievements which cut-across every aspect of human life are cosmetic in nature are merely hallucinating to say the least.''
Hon Akinlaja further assured that Governor Mimiko's support for grassroots would ensure his landslide victory in October 20, and send the opposition into electoral coma. ''By the time the election is over and the results are out, the opposition will experience a mouth-sealing defeat and lose hopelessly. The Edo State election everybody is praising as peaceful and fair will be nothing compared to what will happen here in Ondo state. It is going to be a very peaceful and credible one man, one vote election. We are not planning just to beat them, but beat them overwhelmingly.''
He commended the caring heart school, known as ''Mega School'' a brainchild of Governor Mimiko which was designed and situated at the three Senatorial districts of the state. With this development in his view private schools have been made less attractive even as statistics have shown that rate of enrollment into public schools in areas which hitherto have witnessed very low patronage have now improved in high measure. The facilities provided by the Mega School meant for Primary school pupils have generally been agreed to be of no equal in the sub-Saharan Africa. It is generally believed also that only few of its kind can compete with it in Europe and America.
''The Schools in Ondo are not all about structure. The state also has in place an agency which is basically saddled with the responsibility of maintaining high standard in schools in the state. Tagged Quality Assurance Agency, through it, the government uses its field inspectors to monitor activities of both teachers and students are being regulated for optimal performance by both the students and teachers alike. Already, the system has recorded so much impact that neighbouring states have applied to come and understudy the agency's mode of operation. In our education sector, we are proud to say that no state in the South West compares to us, indeed, while students pay as much as N250, 000 and above in tertiary institutions in all the South West states, most of our students in Ondo State tertiary institutions pay less that N25, 000 yet, members of a particular political party say they are progressive and boast that they will capture us. In Nigeria today, our workers collect the highest minimum wage of N22, 000 while most of the workers in the South West are still agitating for the N18,000 minimum wage, yet they claim they are the progressives. Initially, they came to ask for the blueprint of our projects, we gave them, and now they copy them outright, yet they could not even imitate us well. And they said they want to capture us as if we are rats and grass-cutters.''
In the area of health Akinlaja said this is one area the Mimiko led government has won for the state in particular and the country at large, international recognition. As its Abiye project continues to endear the government to both nationals and foreigners. Under the very popular health project, Mother and Child hospitals are operational. The hospital is designed basically for expectant mothers. Under this project, Pregnant women are taken care of free of charge from conception of the pregnancy to about six weeks after delivery .The health scheme has become so popular to the extent that pregnant women from other parts of the country have turned Ondo State Mother and Child hospitals to Jerusalem and Mecca of sort. It is also on record that the state government has planted medical centres in many communities that lacked one before the advent of the Mimiko government.
Besides, Hon Akinlaja said Mimiko administration has revived sports significantly in the state. His words: ''This is one area the Mimiko led government is doing better than every other state in the federation. The state has as many as two teams in the nation's premier league and it can boast of the best stadia in the country with the almost completed Akure sports stadium which has an Olympics size swimming with the football pitch being Astroturf. Infact recently I participated in a novelty which was actually played on that football pitch.''
He however rebuffed the allegations that youths in the state have not been adequately empowered by the labour led government: ''Governor Mimiko is maximizing the agricultural potentials of the state. It has even moved further to latch on this potential to fulfill its promise of providing employment for its graduates. The government has provided an agricultural scheme in Ore, Auga and Epe and Agric villages where graduates have been gainfully employed. The government has also established Tomapep factory in Arigidi Akoko. Another unique feature of the Mimiko's agricultural undertakings is the value of the Auga cow farm where Cows are been reared in hundreds. Already, it has been affirmed that the Auga farm will conveniently take care of the Cow consumption needs of the South west people instead of relying on cow supplies from the North and other parts of the neighbouring African nation. The independent power project is also ongoing in our state and when it's fully completed that will ultimately foster industrial revolution in Ondo state. I can go on and on, the achievements and success stories of Mimiko's administration are boundless. The only enemy we have in Ondo State is poverty and Mimiko is painstakingly combating this headlong, there is unprecedented economic growth in the state simply because we have a visionary leader in place. I urge every eligible voters in Ondo State to take ownership of this electoral process come out enmasse and vote Labour Party standard bearer, Governor Olusegun Mimiko come October 20.''
*Ajibulu is Hon Joseph Akinlaja's Head of Media.