The outgoing Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, on Thursday said he had fulfilled his promise to work for the people at all times in the last eight years he led the state.
In his farewell address to the people of the state, Mr. Mimiko declared that the state had done well in the last eight years in the light of huge developmental strides attained by his administration.
“At my inauguration in 2009, I made a solemn commitment to work for you, the good people of Ondo State, at all times and in all season,” he said.
“I enunciated a program, underpinned by our campaign manifesto, which sought to bridge the gap between the government and the governed; bring succour to the blighted lives of the poor and weak amongst us; give a fresh hope to our women and children; upgrade our environment; and generally reposition our State for the good.
“Today, eight years on, by the special grace of the Almighty God, 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. As I take my exit, I recall, in modesty, some of the programs that have these past eight years set our State apart.”
Mr. Mimiko enumerated several projects which were masses-centred and which touched the lives of the ordinary people of the state.
Some of the projects, according to him, include the mega schools, the improvement in the health sector which had reduced the maternal mortality rate in the state, the free shuttle buses for school children, power general projects, urban renewal among others.
“Fellow citizens of Ondo State, I can go on and on to highlight several others of our life-impacting programs, but as direct beneficiaries of these programs, I am aware they need little or no introduction to you,” he stated.
“Our government in the past few weeks had carried out a comprehensive documentation of all of these programs and projects, including but not limited to the 663 quick win projects; the ultra-modern abattoir, the eight (8) completed dual carriage ways; the over 500 kilometres of road done across the State; the water plant in Aboto, Ilaje Local Government that has ensured that our people no longer live the saying of ‘water, water everywhere, but none to drink; the free shuttle scheme that transports thousands of school children on daily basis in the last four years; support for our artisans, etc.
“Only recently, the State Government secured a Fifty Seven Million Dollars facility from French Development Agency for reticulation, transmission and distribution of portable water from Owena Dam. When completed, it will provide potable water to the State Capital and many towns and cities in the State.”
He also noted his government also carried out some programmes which were not physical in nature, but which are significant, such as sustaining peace among the NURTW and removing it away from the culture of violence, thus making the state one of the most peaceful states in the south west and the country.
In spite of his achievements, Mr. Mimiko lamented his inability to pay salaries promptly in the months leading to the end of his administration.
“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,” he said.
“We have made friends and admirers, we have also attracted detractors. We have not targeted anybody or institution to 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 honor 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.”
He then urged the people to extend their full support to the incoming Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
“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 Him alone be all the glory.”