Immediate past governor of Ondo state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said that one of the challenges his administration faced in its eight years of administering the state, was its inability to pay salaries as at when due. At the last count, his administration owed workers seven months salaries.
Dr Mimiko in his farewell broadcast to the people of the state pleaded with them to extend their full support to ‘our incoming governor’, Arakunrin (Mr) Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
He said: “We have recorded successes and also have our own measure of insurmountable challenges among which is the inability to pay salaries as at when due.
“We have made friends and admirers, we have also attracted detractors.
‘’We have not targeted anybody or institution for witch-hunt but have been true to our determination of ensuring that the interest of the greatest number of people is the determinant of all the decisions and choices we made.
“My good people of Ondo State, to everything there is a season, so the holy book says. It is time now for me to go, having enjoyed the unique privilege of serving as your Governor these past eight years.
“I thank you for your support. I thank you for believing in me, and standing by me through thick and thin. I value your support and friendship at all times.
“By God’s own special grace, I will continue to repay the honour you did me by standing up in your support at all times. I pledge to remain a part of our communities even outside of government.
“What remains for me is to enjoin you, in the name of God, and for the good of our State, to extend your full support to our incoming Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
“ It is imperative we do this so as to keep our State firmly on the path of peace and progress on which it has been for the past eight years.
“May I then commit you all, the entire citizenry of Ondo State, our Sunshine State, our Place of Pride, into the safe hands of the Almighty God, on whose shoulder the governance of our State has rested these past eight years.
“To the glory of God, we made Ondo State the most peaceful State not just in the Niger Delta and the South-West, but arguably across the entire nation.
“We enhanced the self-confidence of students in our higher institutions, which has propelled them to the top of their game, either in the Law School, or the debating halls across the country.
“Our women no longer cut the destitute image as they ply their trade having now modern, clean and inviting facilities and stalls built across the State for their use.
“Our traditional institutions have been accorded their rightful place in the scheme of things as key players in the administration of our communities.
“I cannot thank the royal fathers enough for the way they partnered with us these past eight years in the determination to make our State the safest in the nation.
“Ondo State has not only done well, it has indeed become a benchmark across the globe in several of our well-conceived and well-delivered programs.
“It is now time to go and turn over the baton of state to another governor.’’
Dr Mimiko recalled some of the programs that have in the past eight years has set the State apart.
They include: Intervention in infrastructure like mega schools,the Abiye Safe Motherhood program, urban renewal, agriculture, independent power project, the Agbebiye program and investment in the Oil and Gas exploitation.
Others according to him include the kick starting of the Ondo State Government’s exclusively owned Free Trade Zone; seeking a credible investor in developing a Deep Sea Port; securing of license for the exploitation of the state’s bitumen deposit and signing Memorandum of Understanding with notable bitumen exploration companies.
Dr Mimiko said the State Government recently secured a $57million facility from the French Development Agency for reticulation, transmission and distribution of potable water from Owena Dam.
Ondo residents task Akeredolu
Meantime, some residents of Okitipupa in Ondo State yesterday, reminded the incoming governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu to fulfil his electioneering promises to the people.
The governor and the Deputy Gov. Agboola Ajayi would be sworn in today in Akure.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews in Okitipupa, said that the incoming government should prioritise prompt payment of salaries, empowerment of youths, agriculture and provision of social amenities.
They alleged that the outgoing government of Dr Olusegun Mimiko failed the people almost in every ramification which made them to vote for Akeredolu.
It won’t be a tea party but… —Akeredolu
Ondo state’s new governor, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, yesterday lauded the former governor for all his achievements and concluded that he has done his best within human limitation.
Akeredolu said that Dr Mimiko has left his imprint in the sand of time and history will judge him well.
He commended the transition team for their cooperation and the success of the whole exercise .
The new governor who said that the former governor should take a deserved rest after a tortuous eight year service noted that it was not going to be a tea party.
He was however optimistic that despite the curves, mountains, he will not give up.
Akeredolu said the new administration would still refer to the former governor because of his experience.
Meantime, the immediate past governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, last night said the state is in good hands with Rotimi Akeredolu as the new governor .
Dr Mimiko spoke at the handing over ceremony which took place at the governors office in Akure.
He pointed out that the people of the state should be rest assured that the new governor will perform well.
While appealing to the new governor to sustain the existing peace in the state, Dr. Mimiko said he would continue to assist the new administration whenever he is called upon.
He thanked God for seeing him through all the insurmountable challenges in the past eight years
The former governor prayed that the spirit of cooperation will continue and that subsequent governments will transmute seamlessly.
Dr Mimiko wished the new governor the best as he assumed office.
market stalls and help to modernise our markets too,” she said.