He is called Iroko, the king of the forest. And in politics he has demonstrated he has stamina like Iroko tree. He resigned from the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo to contest a governorship election wherein he defeated an incumbent-late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, his former boss. And while in office, he surmounted all the forces arraigned against his re-election by former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who had assisted him to win back his 2007 stolen electoral mandate. Today, Governor Olusegun Mimiko is running his second term in office.
Not a few know that he is influential not only in his Ondo State, but also in the South-west geopolitical zone and at the centre in Abuja. The jury is out already over whether indeed Governor Mimiko is the new Yoruba leader, the undisputed leader of the Yoruba race who is stepping into the shoes of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Abraham Adesanya. Is he the new Lord of the manor in Yorubaland? His words and actions seem to say so.
Though soft spoken, Governor Olusegun Mimiko is firm and speaks with all authority. Speaking at a Peoples Democratic Party campaign rally in Oke-Agbe, headquarters of Akoko North-east Local Government of Ondo State recently, he urged the entire Akoko people to vote massively for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election. He said the highest political office holder in the South-western Nigeria is an Akoko man. That person, according to him, is the Chief of Staff to the President, Brig. Gen. Olaseinde Arogbofa (rtd). Who secured the job for Arogbofa you may ask? In otherwords who made Arogbofa emerge the highest office holder in the South-west? Its undoubtedly Governor Mimiko.
At the Palace of Olukare of Ikare, Governor Mimiko also said he would use his link with the Federal Government to ensure that the rehabilitation of Ikare-Oke-Agbe road, a federal road, is completed. He charged the Akoko people to vote for President Jonathan so that the ongoing sub-station project in Oke-Agbe would not be left un-attended to. Governor Mimiko could say that with all authority. Why? Within a few months after he defected from Labour Party, the platform through which he rode to the governorship, to PDP, he emerged President Jonathan’s Campaign Coordinator for South-west. Mimiko, therefore, is well placed within the President’s inner circle.
If you are in doubt about Governor Mimiko’s newfound status, then wait for this! On Thursday he gathered all Yoruba delegates to the recently- concluded Abuja National Conference to a meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital, to study and review the outcome of the confab and how its resolutions will be implemented as they affect Yorubaland. Expectedly, the meeting was an opportunity to drum support for and work towards President Jonathan’s re-election.
In an advertorial in some national dailies, Governor Mimiko, the convener, had dubbed the meeting Post National Conference Summit. He gave the theme of the summit as-“The National Conference, 2015 Elections and the Yoruba Nation”. Apart from some PDP leaders in the South-west, some prominent Yoruba leaders among them top Afenifere chieftains who participated in the Abuja confab were conspicuously present at the summit. So any more doubt where the lever is for the new leadership of the Yoruba race?.