Mimiko: Profile in treachery By Louis Odion, FNGE

Mr. Iroko to Gbabode?

A cartoon
published earlier by 
Punch offers
perhaps the most prophetic foreword to the political tragedy that climaxed
in Ondo on November 26.
Someone in an unconscious state is sketched being hustled away from the
shelter of the Iroko (big
oak tree) 
as the Good Samaritan mutters, “struck by
the Iroko moniker is patent for the brand of politics Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has
retailed in Ondo State in
the past two decades. The ill-starred vagrant depicted in the cartoon could
only be Eyitayo Jegede, a senior advocate he had anointed to
succeed him as governor, only to finish poorly in last weekend’s polls.

Olusegun Mimiko….The End justifies the confusion?
 The cartoonist’s
surreal evocation is obviously rooted in Yoruba cosmology, which ordinarily
invests the Iroko
shrub with some metaphysical prowess. But in the event that such powers
prove impotent under a tempest, so much that the proverbial lightning could
strike so viciously right under its shadow, it is then safe to conclude that
such Iroko must have 
“gba abode” (come under
an evil spell). 

What remains therefore is its decapitation as a rite
in exorcism.
For a man who has
more or less dominated Ondo politics in the last decade, so sad
that Mimiko would end
riotously on a low. Now completely stripped after the November 26 endgame and
haunted still by the grotesque shadow of PDP
in complete disarray on account of factionalization, it would be
entirely surprising today if Iroko is
not already filled with nostalgia for the comfort and the peace of mind the
old Labour Party had provided him before greed for power lured him to
PDP in 2014.
New Governor Akeredolu, Mimiko and the other man, Olusola Oke
 For an outgoing
governor, nothing indeed could be traumatizing as the thoughts of a hostile
takeover. For a man obsessed with the affectation of populism over the years
and who, by action, seemed forever apprehensive about how future historians
would accommodate him, how ironic that Mimiko will
have to spend his remaining days in office agonizing more on how to balance the
naira and kobo in the financial book, let alone bother about what fate awaits
the sundry cenotaphs carved in his image across the state.

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 But let no one
shed tears for this prodigal son. Alas, the Iroko of perfidy is irreverently toppled by the whirlwind of Karma. Only poor students of history
would not have foreseen this calamitous end for Mimiko

Eyitayo Jegede….Mimiko’s Preferred Candidate who lost out at the last hour

In hindsight, it
is obvious that the deep fissures in PDP at the national level contributed
to Jegede’s defeat. But
even as the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Mimiko acted up his billing as a political sailor without
moral compass. All along, he continued to flirt with both the 
Makarfi camp and the Sheriff faction, perhaps shamelessly hoping to
bed one after the other. 
Until Jimoh Ibrahim locked the room and
took away the key.
To be fair, overall,
no one can deny the fallen Iroko
credits for modest achievements in the area of improved healthcare
(especially maternal welfare) and empowerment of market women through the
provision of stalls and soft loans.
But with the
hostile take-over of last weekend, Iroko has
lost the opportunity to have a say in how his story in the last eight years
will be officially documented. And the stories of his little miracle here and
there will likely be completely obliterated when the “enemies”
commence a re-write after his exit.
Essentially, Mimiko’s tragic
flaw stems from the carnal assumption that political success is to be measured
only by material acquisitions without subscribing to any enduring moral value.
To believe in nothing and stand for nothing is the worst cardinal sin. Even
common harlots are governed by some ethics – an obligation to keep
clients’ confidentiality, for instance.

Olusegun Mimiko….The Iroko who got broken at the end

 Now, Iroko’s loneliness should be framed
in the proper context. In his hey-day, he conveniently chose to believe that
politics and politicking could exist in a moral vacuum. A psychotic
affliction which led my brother and colleague, Sam Omatseye, to memorably characterize him as “whitlow
of the South-west

In his delusion,
the medical-doctor-turned-politician forgot that politics is defined by an
avowal of a set of values. Without that, the player is perhaps no better
than a 
motor-park tout, scavenging
for his next meal ticket.
To the scion of
the otherwise illustrious Mimiko family
of Ondo town, politics is
all about self and the preservation of narrow interests. That explains why his
political odyssey in the last seventeen years would now look more like an
adventure in treacheries and infamy. 
Late Governor Adebayo Adefarati…Mimiko’s Use & Dump series 1
 As an appointee of
Governor Ade Adefarati of Alliance for Democracy (AD) between 1999
and 2002, he was recruited by PDP to undermine his benefactor.

When Olusegun Agagu became governor
in 2003 through PDP’s now infamous “operation totality” in
the South-west, he was compensated with the plum office Secretary to the
State Government.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo…The Man who threatened Mimiko with EFCC


Barely two years later, he was
“promoted” to Abuja as minister. But he wanted something bigger
– Agagu’s job! That set him at odds with Obasanjo and Agagu and
would ignite a chain of events culminating in his migration to the Labour Party in 2006.
Late Governor Segun Agagu….Mimiko’s Use & Dump Series 2
 His scant regard
for loyalty explains why he later felt no scruples in trading the otherwise
much cherished Labour badge away
for a rickety accommodation in PDP two years ago, thus casually abandoning
mid-stream and the teeming community of workers across the country who had
basked in the illusion of a toe-hold, if not foothold, in political power in
Nigeria through Ondo.

Yet, when it
mattered most, when the PDP hyenas callously left him defenestrated in 2006, it
was the same Labour that
graciously offered him shelter and platform for rehabilitation. Having used the
vehicle to gain second term in 2012, he opted to trade with PDP. Without
conscience, he owed workers whopping six months salaries, but had money to
finance his surrogate’s election bid. Without shame, he again attempted to
deceive the same labour unions weeks ago by urging them to vote Jegede with a laughable promise to
pay after the elections.
The same lack of
sense of loyalty also explains why Mimiko hardly
batted an eyelid three years ago before clamping down heavily on the
popular Adaba FM in Akure.
For airing news items he did not find flattering, he showed naked power by
doing the unthinkable – dug a deep valley in the only access road to the
station! That punitive action rendered it inaccessible to workers and clients.

The Iroko & The Jagaban….Mimiko’s Use & Dump Series 3

Yet, when PDP
“stole” his mandate in 2007 and he was left alone in the wilderness,
the same Adaba FM provided him a platform to speak directly to
the Ondo public, at no cost.
 At personal level,
the ordeals of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
and Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim
are now public knowledge. For all Tinubu’s moral
and financial support during the protracted legal battle to reclaim his
stolen mandate, Mimiko,
emboldened by his new PDP friends in Abuja,
would turn round to publicly call his old benefactor unprintable names during
his re-election bid in 2012.

Jimoh Ibrahim…The Man who lost Owena Hotel to Mimiko but became his Spoiler-in-Chief in the November 26th election
 If Jimoh Ibrahim chose to go dirty and
personal against Mimiko and
his surrogate, it is probably the only way the maverick businessman imagined he
could avenge what he considers a great betrayal. The story is told of how
the Igbotako-born publisher of Mirror Newspaper had extended huge
financial support as well as legal guidance and counseling to Mimiko while fighting Agagu between 2007 and 2008 even
though the latter was supposed to be his kinsman.

But once Mimiko entered office, as the story
goes, one of the early actions he took was to move against Ibrahim’s interest in Ondo’s hospitality sector.
In 2010 came a big
drama at the Akure airport.
On landing from Abuja in a chartered
propeller aircraft, Mimiko decided
to walk over and say “hello” to Ibrahim
nestling in his new Challenger jet.
But no sooner had the governor stepped onto the aisle than Ibrahim reportedly barked at him,
wondering what strange coffee he drank: “Who
invited you to my plane?! Get out of my plane!!”
With his security
details left in a quandary as Ibrahim
raised hell, Mimiko quietly
left the scene.

Mimiko & his Old Play Mates, Goodluck & Muazu of PDP

The paths of the
two old-buddies-turned-adversaries would again cross in 2011 when Ibrahim first sought to contest the governorship
on the platform of PDP,
the sponsorship of which he had since taken over. As the story goes, then President Goodluck Jonathan
counseled him to wait till 2016 as “Mimiko is
working for me even though he’s in Labour Party”.

Ex-Labour Party Chairman, Dan Nwanyanwun…The Man Mimiko used and Dumped

disappointed at the turn of events, Ibrahim
obeyed Jonathan. Thus, “federal
might” was put behind Mimiko to
overrun APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu in
2012, rendering PDP’s own Olusola Oke a
political orphan in the polls. But no sooner had Mimiko been sworn in
for second term in 2013 than he, characteristically, decided to officially move
over to PDP, thus displacing Ibrahim’s as the party leader in Ondo
hoping Jonathan would deliver himself
in 2015, Iroko began to see
himself as PDP’s clearing-house in South-west and, ipso facto, the
new Yoruba leader.
Today, the
lightning has struck and Ibrahim
is obviously having the last laugh.

Louis Odion…Reminds Mimiko of his Cloudy Political Past

(Louis Odion
is a highbrow Nigerian Columnist and Media Business Expert. He was former
Commissioner for Information &Strategy in Edo State)