The International Conference and Event Centre (The Dome), Akure, Ondo State was filled to capacity on Wednesday, 15th February, 2017, during the launching of a book, entitled, Mimiko’s Odyssey: A biography of Revelations, written on the life of the outgoing Executive Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
The book launch, which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life, was written by a former Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru-Jos, Professor Olu Obafemi of the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkungbe, who described Mimiko as the longest serving Governor in the history of Ondo State, admonished him to be prepared to write his autobiography at a later age, saying it would be too early for the outgoing Ondo State Governor to contemplate that now, because he still has so many mileages to traverse in life.
He further said Mimiko’s character represents the very characteristics of what the etymology of the Iroko tree means – the king of trees, tall, strong, dogged and with a long view, averring that Mimiko, like every other person, has no monopoly of wisdom but he is unique in the sense that he says things as they are.
The author of the book, Olu Obafemi, a Professor of English and Creative Writing, said he was not unprepared for any criticism but pleaded and demanded for a minimum request of people reading the book before criticising, because, according to him, writing a biography on a subject of Mimiko’s status and stature must attract an avalanche of criticisms.
His words: “Though no biography can be truly objective, every good biography must be built on credibility. I was not politically motivated to choose Mimiko, as subject and object of this biography, but his mid-life which is full of vigour and commitment to serve his people. While some say, for instance, that his mega school initiative is sheer waste of money, Dr. Dosumu Awolowo sees it, as a step further from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies in the area of education”.
The event, which launched two distinct books to the audience, brought to the fore the scholarly expertise of the reviewer, Professor David Ker, a former Vice-Chancellor of Benue State University, Makurdi, who, while reviewing the book, said the births of great men are always marked with great signs.
He noted that one would find in chapter two of the book the account of Mimiko’s mother that her protruded belly suddenly became flat shortly before Mimiko’s birth; and that chapter seven to thirteen examine the political life of Mimiko, adding that the book captures Mimiko’s political experiences, first under the tutelage of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Michael Ajasin, Chief Bamidele Olomiluwa and Chief Adebayo Adefarati; and later as an intriguing actor in the political landscape of Ondo State and indeed in South-West geo-political one of Nigeria.
Prof. Ker said anywhere you turn to in the book, you are hit by politics; and he therefore concluded by recommending it as a relevant book for young people, who may seek adventure in politics.
Other perspectives reviewers, such as, Dr. Wale Okediran, former Preident of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and Prof. Umar Buratai of the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said the book documents the amazing achievements of Mimiko as Governor of Ondo State for eight years, saying Mimiko’s choice of leaving the peace and tranquillity of medical practice for the muddy terrain of politics shows he is very resilient.
On his part, Chief Akin Osuntokun, who reviewed the second book, entitled, Selected Speeches of Mimiko, said no other Governor is more progressive than His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
The books were unveiled and presented to the audience by a sea of dignitaries, led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Executive Governor of Zamfara State, His Excellency Alhaji Sani yari.
In his remark, the subject of the biographer, His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, thanked all the dignitaries, his friends and indeed everyone that graced the occasion for the love and honour shown to him.
Other dignitaries that attended the event were former Governors of Ondo State, Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George and Chief Bamidele Olomiluwa; former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa; former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Sen. Iyiola Omisore; the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator, NICO South-West Zone, Mr. James Imohiosen; the academia, traditional rulers, captains of industry, and a host of others.