By ‘Healing’ Others, Mimiko Relaxes
Apart from his routine but light workout, Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, says he relaxes more by giving audience to people with a view to meeting their needs, writes Ademola Adeyemo
Beyond his medical profession and politics, Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has an abiding interest in meeting the immediate needs of the people. This, he said, is an even greater passion. Thus, when the governor is not attending to official matter or politicking as his office demands, he spends most of his time listening and meeting the needs of the less privileged in the society, who may not be able to scale through the official protocol during office hour to lay down their request for assistance.
His predilection for lending a hand dates back his University days at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife. Even as a student, Mimiko was known to putting smiles on the faces of his colleagues and despite his limited resources.
Interestingly, this is a volition he claims to have picked from his mother whose kind gesture shaped his humanist disposition. He grew up to know the difference between social injustice and justice, oppression and liberation, mass poverty and disgusting opulence.
Although, he was born neither into a wealthy nor poor home, his parent had enough to educate their wards. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that his family was distinguished in its willingness to always share with others – especially the less privileged. Besides, his father’s readings habit and discussions had also taught him a great deal about class societies, even as he saw and felt poverty around him while growing up. Hence, he cherished communal living which he claims taught him love and care for others
“Since then, I had dedicated my life to the service of my people and I thank God that he is using me to make the life of my people better that it used to be. I have a covenant with God that if he puts me in an executive position, I will dedicate myself to the service of the people and I thank God for making my dream a reality”
“So, as a passion, when am not in the office or on official assignment, I use my leisure hour to listen to the challenges being faced by the less privileged and try to meet their needs as much as I can within the limit of my personal resources. It gives me a lot of joy to see my people in happy mood.”
He says he decides to make education a priority of his administration by creating conducive atmosphere for learning by building Mega schools because of its importance to career building.
“I am here today as governor from my ordinary average home because I had access to education. Education is a liberating force. My father used to ask us if we knew the agony of the illiterates. He would ask us to move round town and see the number of signposts that were written in English. He usually said this to illustrate the agony of someone who could not read in the English Language.”
Mimiko also emphasised the need to give support to mothers and children in the society. “Any government which does not do anything about the children and mothers’ health is not a good government. Cases of children dying were rampant because of inadequate health care services. But in Ondo State today, there are no more Kokumos (still birtazhs).
“When we got into office, we started Abiye program (safe motherhood program, Nigeria, and the whole world has seen what we are doing. Today, our Mother and Child Hospital model is not only the best in Nigeria but a template for Africa and, from the world, accolades have come.”