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Hatever Mimiko is doing in Ondo State, it is in the interest of the community he is serving, by addressing the needs of the State. That is a good leader with ambition, which is, the desire to lead the people. If a leader does not have ambition, he will end up at ground zero. Anyone with an ambition will have a clear vision of a better future for his community.

No progressively minded individual will concur that Mimiko is dancing outside the box of regional integration of the South West Zone. If his style of dancing is different from others, while still dancing to the same tune of music being played by the South West Zone, it is unfair to tag his ambition as above Regional integration. We all hear the same music and our styles of dancing cannot be the same. If an actor wants some resources to make the music sound better with new technology, because you don’t like his style of dancing, and you prevented him from getting the resources, while you approved it for another actor for being in your style of dancing, it is loutish.

Nigeria needs those that could articulate their ambition and use it effectively, as Mimiko is demonstrating in Ondo State within his level. Mimiko is currently the first and only member of the Labor Party to win gubernatorial office in Nigeria, which is a plus for the Labor Party. The real megaphone of the Labor Union in Nigeria went the other way of winning the Edo State Gubernatorial election.

Progressives watchful eyes of have been glued to the development in Ondo State, while Mimiko does not make superfluous noise about his quiet progressive work in the State. He has added his blotch in the State to the happiness of his people.

The idea of being progressive and being a partner in progress is to share good ideas in moving the region forward. The ACN has not accused Mimiko of not cooperating with them in moving the region forward as Mimiko has shared the blue print of the progress made in the State with the ACN. He does not have to belong to ACN before he could make progress, following the vision of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for bringing unprecedented development to the defunct Western Region with his innovative projects. Ondo State is paying its employees the higher minimum rate than any ACN State in the region; The Ondo State workers collect the highest Minimum Wage of N22, 000.00 while most of the workers in the South West are still agitating for the N18, 000.00 Minimum Wage. Most Students in Ondo State pay N25, 000.00 in the tertiary institutions, while in the progressive States, on paper, still pay as high as N250, 000.00.

On health, his administration equipped the Millennium Eye Centre, Akure, which still ranks among the best in Nigeria and start restoring the sight of blind and partially blind patient and relief those with hernia that brought succour and joy to the heart of thousands of indigenes of Ondo State.

The State of art on Diagnostic Center in Ondo State was constructed with his vision and the cooperation of his people, something that those who claimed to know very much in State like Ogun, with the records of the First among all cadres of professions in Nigeria, arrogantly refused to let it be in the State. Mimiko established a Diagnostic Center within months for Ondo Citizens to accurately diagnose their illnesses for proper care. That is what we call ambition with vision.

Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko admiring a baby dressed in Labour Party attire after a campaign rally in Idanre Local Government.

The second year in office witnessed the inauguration in Ondo, a Gani Fawehinmi state-of-the-art Diagnostic Centre with modern equipment and facilities, Computerised Tomographic Scan (CT Scan), Sonography station/color, Doppler, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Digital X-ray, MRI System Room, Mammography, Pathology, Video Conferencing Auditorium stations, Telemedicine and VIP lounge. The Center is in conjunction with MeCure India Healthcare Limited, Lagos. It was in the memory of late Gani Fawehinmi who died of cancer of the lung on September 4, 2009; erroneously diagnosed and treated for pneumonia for over one year before it was discovered he was suffering from cancer of the lung, which later resulted in his death.

Mimiko has actually delivered the dividends of democracy with the execution of over 64 projects covering all sectors in the area within the last three and half years. Who is sure that if ACN takes over Ondo State, it would not destroy the already established infrastructure by Mimiko, as done in its neighboring Ogun State, just taken over by ACN?

No one doubts the need for a regional integration in any part of the world. The big question is has Mimiko REFUSED to work with any other leaders in the South West. Has he dissociated himself, using Ondo State, as an obstacle in cooperating and working in concert with the progressives?

It is not a hyperbole that the South West Regional Integration is far more important than the ambition of an individual in the region, not even ACN. The progressive political spectrum of the Nigeria South West did not start overnight. It has grown from the early 1940s and 1950s during the days of Pa Obafemi Awolowo. In the modern day Nigeria integration of a region has to encompass the people that reside within that region as whatever their goals and objectives should be geared towards total empowerment in all aspects of peoples’ life, socially, spiritually, economically, educationally, medically and in all ramifications.

Definitely Regional integration arrangements are part and parcel of the present global economic order and this trend is now an acknowledged future of the international scene, in the modern day maturity. These are mainly the outcome of the inevitability in the country today, integrating their economies in order to achieve rapid economic growth around the world by way of empowering the people as it also decreases conflict, while building mutual trusts among the spongy groups within the Region.

We believe that the Yoruba stock is very sophisticated, and most of them got tired of the direction PDP-led administration was taken the region; worsened with the main leaders controlling the veins of PDP; BOT Chairperson, Executive, Legislature, it’s leadership turned around, as expected, and played ‘ENEMIES WITHIN’ episode. Yoruba group hope that the integration being canvassed by the new invention is genuine, not a fake one imported from the ‘Wind City’ across the Atlantic. Why should some people frown at Mimiko’s different path in accomplishing the regional vision?

Would you expect your identical triplets to behave and act same way in their entire life? States in the South West are of the same stock with their goals directed toward economic, social, and historical integration of the people. Human integration should take the center piece of the States in the region; where the game of ‘Pull Him Down’ syndrome is at work always. Some inapt leaders built, and destroyed beyond how they met it, one step forward with 100 steps backward. I hope that the ‘PHD’ syndrome will not disparage the region in case Boko Haram succeeded in finally breaking up the country in 2015 as predicted by the Western world.

Does Regional Integration, as practiced around the world, has to change each countries identity into one? Does Nigeria have to totally incorporate its policies into all the West African States to be fully integrated? Should all States within South West have to be ACN, or a single political party for integration to take place?

South West can be proud of a mile-stone progress for their States, not the government creation by the chorus of being in a single Political Party, but a political party acceptable to the people of Ondo State.

Each State enters into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional institutions and rules. While the purpose for such integration brings together the right functionality and the right information to the right people. Moreover, ranges from economic to political, although it has generally become a political economy initiative.

Chief Awolowo laid some solid foundation in all aspects of the regional needs. In a civilized society, where clarity and vision are collectively understandable, all ideals can be co-joint, make it manegeable, and form combined efforts of integration.

The Nigeria issues and needs are beyond any political ambition of procuring peoples’ mind.

Progressives should admire Mimiko’s focus in managing the affairs of the State and refused to be distracted; that is a way of integrating his people. Nigeria situation needs to be approached in bits, for everyone to play their parts objectively to become a whole. While Lagos is doing its own, Ondo is putting its smidgen on the platter and the rest should put theirs.

This is different from other leaders who are on the path of vengeance policies by destroying what have been established by their predecessors, instead of adding up to the total integration of the South West. That one-way traffic is not the answer to integrating the Region, as members of the region needs are different and unique.

Unfortunately, we think differently if we say that the South West should be exclusively ACN as the father of the South West Political clot. Given the leadership of the ACN where imposition of candidates for each elective office is applied, should be considered the work of ancient dwellers, not the very highly sophisticated region.

Is there any opposition party in the borrowed Presidential system in Nigeria? Opposition Party of the ancient world is not the path to genuine integration of the South West.

The ACN strategic vision of building a united and integrated South West Zone must be by political, economic, social, and cultural integration, not necessarily with the same soiled political party. There must be more focussed and co-ordinated set of interventions by principled groups and closer collaboration and partnership with the people who are the stakeholders.

If ACN is very confident of its integration ambition, it should go to the neighboring States, and States outside its confines, especially in Niger State, where its leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has been bestowed with the Chieftaincy title of the Jagaban of the Borgu Kingdom, Niger State, Nigeria; and annexes it to his political castle.

Does it has to get to the borrowed political slogan of ‘do or die’ politics of the Nigeria Iroko Political Tree, PDP, as alleged, that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leadership has to compel Local Governments in Lagos State to donate a whooping N7m each to enable it capture Ondo state in the October 20th governorship election? Does Democracy allow healthy competition without mortgaging people’s life in Lagos State towards building a political castle? Does an attractive young woman need much publicity to convince men attempts to win her love? Does ACN leadership has to compel Lagos Local Governments to mismanage the people’s money instead of continues with their infrastructural development of their local governments where not all the Lagos State communities look like we see on the major streets that we admire? Should the communities suffer in silence just to capture other States? Why couldn’t ACN appeal to Ondo Citizens to embrace ACN for better services than the Labor Party?

ACN should not create enmity between Ondo indigenes and Lagosians simply by selling their birthright for a bowl of gari. Lagos State, like the United States of America, is a melting pot of all ethnic groups in Nigeria, as most of them, born in Lagos, have totally forgotten how their parents or grandparents got to Lagos in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece, while some of them could possibly trace their origin to Ondo State, just like Ahmed Tinubu, the ACN leader, can trace his origin to Osun State.

Wondering what integration means to some individuals if all South West of Nigeria should sleep with their heads on the same direction. Measuring integration, using Lagos State as gauge on the subject, could be too challenging for some ACN States in the region. What is happening in Lagos is the quality of leadership of Raji Fashola (SAN), who is turning around the State most people have written off; in addition to the willingness of Lagosians for progress. The followerships are part of the integrated progress of Lagos State under the umbrella of the leader with a vision and ambition. Wheedling the group for joining a single political party just for the sake of joining is loutish.

Sometimes some of the leaders in Yorubaland see themselves in a narrow confine of ethnicity, blinded away from borrowing from another ethnic group around the world thinking that their ethnic xenophobia is the best because of their narrow mind to an empty space. It has cost the region the worst set back where leaders takes over from another Yoruba leader and what is uppermost in his mind is to demolish the infrastructure that have been put in place just in the name of changing the political party. Is that a progressive agenda that should be within the progressive States in the South west, instead of enhancing and give credit on what is on the ground? In such a situation within the academic setting, it is a serious bootlegging claiming to be the one initiating and bringing to the South West the collaboration across the world, where it is obvious that those international groups are already on the ground.

Refusing to give praise where praise is due is causing some hiccups within the progressives as they stand to destroy any individual who has actually did much for the community; the fact that the individual belongs to another political party does not mean that he is not a progressive.

Progress comes when we accept that we are just a micro organism in developing a state for instance, to the best of the ability of the individuals. Vengeance should not be the goal of any progressive minded leader.

It is unfortunate how we perceive the three major groups in Nigeria. Hausa/Fulani stock would praise Allah for the progress being made by a member of their stock. Even in the face of challenges, they rally round the individual as they understand the human flesh in our services to humanity.

An Igbo stock, the big question on their lips has been ‘Nna, how u do am now’, trying to learn from how you made it.

Unfortunately, in Yorubaland, unfortunately caused by their great ancestors, Aole has been modernized by the new modern word of PHD, Pull Him Down syndrome. The question an average Yoruba stock will ask you is ‘are you the first to attain that level in life’. Does any progressive leader have to demolish the infrastructure on ground, because he does not like the individual?

Does any leader have to hold-up State progress till he or she becomes the Governor of a state, disallowing the resources that ought to have helped in its growth delayed till his choice becomes the Governor? Do you have to make a state ungovernable because your political party want to take over from that State? Why can ACN compete honestly instead of causing some havoc for the poor innocent citizens in such a State?

Why is the region not giving credit to some individuals for what have been accomplished in their States? Some of these leaders have very short memory, not realizing that they are passers-by, like every human being passes through this world once, not twice in their life time. They have history to make their life and leadership worth remembering. Regardless, Mimiko’s political affiliation, PDP, LP, CPC, ACN, matters less, than measuring progress in Ondo State. Mimiko is a Nigerian by all standards.

Was the feud between Ondo State Labor Party and ACN an extension on the need for contracts in appreciation for its support on the legal tussle that brought Mimiko to power or the defection of LP to ACN? Could that be the reason that informed the ACN to describe LP as worse than the almighty ‘Iroko’ Party, PDP?

There is no pretence in governance. Party affiliate is in the name of competing for a position to control the resources of a State. It is interesting in the name of progressives that expanding an empire for ACN for Tinubu is becoming very interesting. Is it for adding more to the chains of contracts as other progressives promised and might have fulfilled? What Mimiko owes the people of Ondo State is the dividends of democracy not to any individual pockets just for the sake of allowing his party to win elections. After all, it is the game of clearly competing for the resources in the State, while people decide who their choice would be.

Possibly, we may be asking the leaders of the ACN on the meaning of being progressive, or it is just a gimmick and a deceit on the electorates of the ancient denomination.

Can fox claim innocence in the midst of fowls? Where is the saint among the current south west political leaders, especially talking about Alphabeta Company collecting taxes for the progressive? How many of the ACN leaders can ‘beat their chest’ that they never touched the government property by accusing Mimiko for selling government properties as a Minister under Obasanjo to his cronies.

Anyone familiar with Tinubu style of politics knows that he is a real dirty player who can spend a fortune to beat his political opponent hands down. He is famous for his ability to change color like Chameleons of over 160 species, whose eyes, tongues, and limbs are all unusual and specially adapted to their unique niche. A chameleon may change its color to suit its purpose and need, however, it is still a dangerous reptile.

Change of colors in Chameleons serves as a form of communication, a response to temperature, light, and mood, as well as a defence against predators. ACN is operating on that premise in its political escapade. ACN political eyes can rotate and swivel independently, enabling them to see almost complete 360-degrees or observe two things simultaneously. At any political gathering, especially at campaigns its tongue can be as long as his body. Possibly those qualities ACN want to take advantage in capturing Ondo State like rats, rodents and grass eaters in a cage. As Chameleons, that can balance on a branch by gripping it with their claws and wrapping their tail around the branch to hold on, even sleeping upside down, to catch its preys.

One special interesting aspect of the Chameleons is their slow movement with great deliberation. Such movements allow them to catch their prey with their very long special tongue with a suction cup like structure, covered in mucus. Before they knew, what was going on they already became dinner for ACN. ACN moved with an extraordinary speed, like a rocket. When a chameleon sees an insect, it is very still, and captures the prey with its tongue, before the insect realizes that it is about to become dinner. Such was used to capture Ogun and Oyo States in 2011; ACN carefully watched and remained still, fuelled the crisis in Ogun State especially to swallow the State. Are Ondo Citizens animals that could be captured and caged and made part of the Island of Madagascar that holds half of world’s chameleon population?

As of today, September 2012, Ondo State remains more progressive, possibly outside Lagos State, than its other counterparts in the region in the implementation of progressive ideas and in impacting on the lives of the people of the state.

We might challenge ACN that if not for the overzealousness of individuals who thought that he can purchase the Yoruba leadership should volte-face, as Yorubas are more sophisticated than thinking that their conscience cannot, and should not be allowed, to be purchased. We hope that Ondo people are not for sale to the whims and caprices of over-ambitious leader who thinks he is the leader of the Yorubas. The choice of Yoruba leader emerges from the people, not from the sale of the pot of porridge to them.

Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is a risk-taker, who has authored many research papers and published articles focusing on issues on medicine, international relations, and national socio-political developmental strategies. He won the John F. Kennedy Essay, School Level, Award; a farmer and an environmentalist with an abiding love for flower and plantations.

Ondo State citizens should not turned into grass cutters that could be captured, caged, roasted, and consumed for dinner, with good palm wine to wash it down the throat of the captors. The people of Ondo must resist usurpers, under whatever guise, to capture Ondo State in October, 2012. They should rally round Mimiko to win the election and continue the progressive programs, not the progressives on the pages of the newspapers.

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