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Profile of Dr Rahman Olusegun Abayomi Mimiko
The Man Iroko (an Epitome of Change in Governance)
Added: 2010-01-28 04:13:42
Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
Dr. Rahman Olusegun Mimiko was born on 3rd October, 1954, to Pa and Mrs. Atiku Bamidele Mimiko of Ondo, Ondo State. His great, great grandfather, Chief Akinmeji, was the distinguished Ruwase of Ondo. His grandfather, Pa Famimikomi, was an accomplished man. His gallantry in those long year attracted great respect, some of which rubbed-off on his own son, the late Pa A.B. Mimiko, himself an accomplished manager of men and material, a cocoa plantation farmer, an avid reader and monitor of global developments, an erudite social commentator and a compassionate leader of men. Dr. Mimiko's mother, Muinat Mimiko, an industrious woman of great energy, a stickler for discipline and of uncommon commitment to proper upbringing for her own biological children and the scores of children that flocked and still flock to her banner ever now at age 75, is of the eminent Ogunsulie family of Ondo kingdom.
Dr. Mimiko had his elementary education at Aponmu, near Akure (where his father was for several years the general manager of a most successful pilot sawmill industry), and later at St. Patrick's primary school, Yaba, Ondo, in the early 1960s. His secondary school education was at St. Joseph's College, Ondo. He graduated from that great school which profoundly shaped his life. In 1972, Dr. Mimiko was a higher school certificate (HSC) student at the Gboluji Grammar School, Ile-Oluji. Later that year he gained admission into the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife. In 1976, he bagged a Bsc in Health Science. He earned the MB; CH.B (Bachelor of Medical, Bachelor of Surgery) in 1980. He is registered with the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council as a medical practitioner.
As a medical doctor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko worked in different establishments between 1980 and 1981. He was a house officer with the Ondo State Health Management Board under whose auspices he worked at the General (now State Specialist) Hospital, Apo-Ekiti (now in Ekiti state). He had a stint with the Nigeria Naval College (NNS Onura), Onne, Port Harcourt, between 1981 and 1982, as a youth corper. He returned to join the service of the Ondo State Health Management Board as medical official in the general (now state specialist) hospital, Ondo, in 1982. from late 1983 to 1984, Dr. Mimiko had his initial taste of private medical practice by working at different times as a medical official at Apagun Clinic, Yaba, Lagos; and as the Acting Medical Director, Alleluyah Hospital, Oshodi, Lagos. He returned to public service for another year between April 1984 and February 1985 (again with the Ondo State Health Management Board) before finally going into full private medical practice with the setting up of the MONA MEDI-CLINICS with headquarters in Ondo town.
His Political Engagement
The proverbial saying that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" exactly applies to the journey of the fifth elected Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Rahman Olusegun Abayomi Mimiko. His political activities date back to his undergraduate days as a medical student at the then University of Ife, in the late 1970s and early 1980. He was at various times a member of the Students' Representatives Council (Parliament), 1975/76, and chairman of its Special Honours Committee. For a period in 1976, he was elected chairman of the council. Outside the union legislative house, Dr. Mimiko served on the University of Ife students' union electoral commission, 1976/77. He was the public relations official of the International Students' Association of the university between 1977 and 1978. After graduation Dr. Mimiko moved up from a student union activist to find political expression and identity in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He took up membership of the party soon after his return from the National Youth Service scheme. As a budding politician, Dr. Mimiko served as a budding politican; Dr. Mimiko served as the publicity secretary of the Ondo local government chapter of the UPN in 1983.
The internal crises which be-devilled the UPN and the politics of the era dragged on to the 1983 general elections. The second republic was soon collapsed in the blaze of the post-election violence of that year. Several people became concerned about the negative effect of such destructive tendencies on political growth in the southwest as with other regions across the nation. Naturally, parents and guardians began to discourage their children and wards from active participation in politics. Politics was condemned severally, as filthy and dangerous, something not worthy being associated with.
However, the foregoing notion of politics could not deter Dr. Mimiko and douse his in-born passion for social change. This cohered with the concern of three budding intellectuals ensconced in two Nigeria universities; themselves accomplished individuals today, Professor Femi Mimiko, Dr. Rotimi Adelola (Ondo State's current Secretary to the State Government) and Engr. Wole Akinjo, on the need for some form of intervention and departure from this growing tendency at demonizing politics. They vigorously engaged with the idea of getting concerned elements to continually brainstorm on ways to improve on the politics and governance in the Nigerian society. Late in 1987, this idea crystallized around Dr. Mimiko and led to the emergence of the ONDO STUDY GROUP (OSG) over which he presided. Members would debate vigorously and immerse themselves in detached academic studies directed at proving enduring answer to basic questions relating to the future of democratic governance in Nigeria. They discussed the need for attitudinal change on the part on the elites and social cohesion in Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general. Those profoundly enriching intellectual discussions were mostly held within the serene environment of Dr. Mimiko's Mona Clinic.
After an extensive review of its political mobilization effort in 1988, the OSG General Assembly enjoined full participation of its member in politics. Dr. Olusegun Mimiko took a lead on this initiative. He was supported by the Group to run for office as chairman of the former Ondo Local Government (now Ondo East and West LGAs) in 1990 under the aegis of the newly formed Social Democratic Party (SDP). While that early effort did not achieve its specific objective, it marked the transformation of Dr. Mimiko into a full-fledged politician. He was later to serve as an ex-officio member of the SDP Executive Council in Ondo Local Government Area and as a member of the party's Disciplinary Committee.
The Mimiko group soon found rewarding relevance in the campaign organisation of Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua who was bidding for the government seat on Ondo State under the SDP. Before long, Evangelist Olumilua saw the talent in the energetic Dr. Mimiko and appointed him as the honorable health commissioner in 1992. By the time he was left office in late 1993 as a result o the military coup d'etat that terminated that republic, Dr. Mimiko had left his mark as a performer. In that short period, he facilitated the establishment of the pharmacy shop system that provided a 24-hour pharmacy service in the main hospitals around the state. He also conceived and brought into reality the idea of what came to be known as Accident and Emergency Centre in some of the state hospitals in the then Ondo State (now Ondo and Ekiti States). These centres were furnished with state-of-the-art equipment to treat accident and other emergency cases confronting government hospitals everywhere around the state. Obviously, this first tour of duty as a public official was a great opportunity for Dr. Mimiko to demonstrate the stuff of which he was made. It set the tone for a distinguished career in politics the continuation of which is his swearing-in as the fifth elected Governor of the Sunshine State.
In recognition of his extensive contribution to the victory of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the 1999 governorship election in Ondo State, Dr. Mimiko was appointed as the honorable Commissioner for Health in the state, making the second time he would hold that office. Before he resigned from that position on Novermber 7, 2002, Dr. Mimiko had greatly enhanced the quality of health care delivery in the state.
He brought real innovations into the health sector. His ministry completed and equipped the Millennium Eye Centre, Akure, which still ranks among the best in Nigeria. Within the first 100 days of the civilian administration the festivals of surgery (where hundreds of free surgical operation were carried out to restore the sight of blind and partially blind patient and to relief those with hernia) were widely received across the state and copied in many other. These brought succor and joy to the heart of thousands of indigenes of Ondo State. Through the instrumentally of his Health Ranger Scheme, Dr. Mimiko facilitated the delivery of health services to the innermost part of Ondo State, providing thousands of rural dwellers with their real first contact with government. Overall, the undeniable truth, attested to by citizens of Ondo State, is that the Ministry of Health under Dr. Mimiko's watch, definitely added value to the AD government in the state.
On November 7, 2002, Dr. Mimiko resigned his appointment as State Commissioner for Health, 'for strictly personal reasons' in the conviction that he would be in a better position to facilitate increased quality of governance in Ondo State. In response to the call across the state to join the gubernatorial race, he formally announced his intention to contest the governorship election on the platform of AD on Tuesday, November 19, 2002, at a crowded press conference in Akure. Dr. Mimiko insisted that for Ondo State, there certainly were BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD. That was the cliche that defined his campaign organisation - the Brighter Days Network.
Dr. Mimiko had to leave the AD when the constitutionally prescribed primary election for picking gubernatorial candidate was not allowed to hold. It was obvious that the basis for democratic engagement was no longer in the party. He then adopted the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) of those early years as a preferred platform for the continuing struggle to enthrone good governance in Ondo State. After the victory of the party in April 2003 polls, Dr. Mimiko was appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), a position he occupied till July 2005, when he was appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo as minister of the federal republic in charge of housing and urban development. It was from that position Dr. Mimiko resigned on December 8, 2006, to enable him offer himself once again for higher service to Ondo State as Governorship candidate in the April 2007 election. This was under the auspices of the Labour Party which he formally presented to the people of the state at City Hall, Akure, on December 14, 2006.
Before he left office as Minister, Dr. Mimiko coordinated the Obasanjo Administration's reform programme in the housing and urban development sector. But by far the most outstanding of his accomplishments in the housing sector, for which he remains very proud, is the production of the national building code which was formally launched by the federal government in late 2006.
Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has authored many research papers and published articles focusing on issues as wide-ranging as medicine, international relations and national socio-political developmental strategies. A December 1981 edition of the New Nigerian published his 'Troops Withdrawal: Reagan's Destabilisation Ploy'. He co-authored 'Wind of Change in Eastern Europe: Lessons for Africa and the Third World', in the Daily Sketch of April 10, 1990, where he predicted the subsequent break-up of the then Soviet Union.
At his leisure, Dr. Mimiko engages in writing and reading. Way back in 1971, the young Olusegun had won the John F. Kennedy Essay (School Level) Award, underscoring his creative capabilities. He is also a farmer (Iroko Farms) and an environmentalist with an abiding love for flower and plantations. Appointed as Justice of Peace (JP) in 1993, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is also a lover of exquisite art works.
Over the years, Dr. Mimiko has won several awards in recognition of his excellent performance in public office and communal engagement. Significantly, less than six months after he left office as the Health Commissioner in 1993, the Ondo State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), his professional colleagues, conferred on Dr. Mimiko an Award of Meritorious service. He is a patron to several youth and professional organisations across the country all of which look up to the 'IROKO' of Ondo State as a role model.
A widely-traveled man, Dr. Mimiko is happily married to Olukemi, a virtuous woman who at a relatively young age found herself in the arms of an incredible risk-taker of a husband. The First Lady has had to sacrifice a blossoming personal career to build her home. She has constantly and stoically endured incessant and long absence from home of an uncommon grassroots political operative to whom she is married today. Dr. Mimiko speaks not only Yoruba and English, but some smattering of French largely through the efforts of his wife, a French language graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. Together, God has blessed their marriage with Bibilayo, Bayonle, Kikiayo and Pipelayo.
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