Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state is not dubbed a ‘caring heart governor’ for the fun of it or mere sloganeering. His caring heart attitude has settled with his personality way back before he became governor. It is not by accident that he has reduced Maternal Mortality Ratio by 70% in Ondo state with his award-winning and globally recognized Abiye Safemotherhood where pregnant women access free care, the mega school initiative, the free school shuttle scheme, the aggressive urban renewal programme that has made him the second Nigerian to have received the UN Habitat Scroll of Honours, among other life-changing programs and policies.
If you knew Mimiko the young medical doctor, you would understand why he wants to run every program for free even in the face of harsh economic realities. He ran his MONA Clinic as a charity home of some sort having recognized that financial challenge is an impediment to quality healthcare especially for the most vulnerable group in the society.
The young Dr. Mimiko saw this political failure in healthcare and many other embarrassing challenges such as social inequality, injustice as some of the biggest challenges confronting the developing world hence, he ventured into politics, having being an adherent of Awoism, to save and positively affect thousands of lives.
Lest we forget that Gov Mimiko built the first Mother and Child Hospital in his first year in office. The hospital that is embedded in the entire Abiye Safe Motherhood project has taken deliveries of over 50,000 pregnant women including Caesarian Section, children ages 0 to 5. All Free of Charge. If we mere mortals can achieve this great feat, it is no longer a palliative but a lifesaver and only God can reward such a “caring heart”
Having removed the most critical barrier to quality healthcare, Mimiko – a social democrat and adherent of Awoism saw another reason to further end social inequality in the society. He started his World-Class primary schools known as the Mega School initiative where children of the rich and the poor have access to MEGA facilities of learning. He has built 51 of this type of school that can compete favorably with schools in the west. Again, he has done this all FREE OF CHARGE.
Building beautiful and well-equipped schools with qualified teachers did not seem to be all that is required to bridge the long-broken social gap but access to school. Gov. Mimiko further democratized access to basic and quality education on June 12, 2012 when he launched the FREE School Shuttle Scheme. Today, there are 90 buses taking and average of 53,000 schoolchildren (public and private) to and from school everyday – running uninterrupted for over four years. All Free of Charge.
Now that we have agreed there is a serious famine in the land, no thanks to the lack of political will by the Federal Government. The Caring Heart Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, is already ahead of every other state by introducing the Food Palliative Scheme called Eto Igbe Ayo. A scheme that will see 100,000 women go home with food items and subsequent palliative batches to attend to children and men in the state.
Need we say Governor Olusegun Mimiko is a man after God’s own heart? He surpassed MDGs 4 and 5 in so shorts a time, now he is tackling poverty using political will. He has done it in every sector and he should be given the honour of endorsing his successor who has the capacity to do more than he has done.