Olusegun Mimiko: The Physician as Patient

The very first time I came across the word “leukemia” the patient was a Medical Doctor, now I am amazed at how derisive I was with my unspoken reaction. “Is he not supposed to be a physician? Knowing the symptoms and dealing with them before he becomes ill?” Reality of life most often do not follow logic, the advantage of medical training and pragmatic views aided by the experience of practice all succumb to any kind of illness if and when they come calling. Then the Doctor becomes the one in need, no longer the one to run to for help. One funny twist about that is: when the sickness is more of psychological, treatment is hard, as the patient must first admit he has the problem and surrenders himself for proper treatment. Who will take ‘pragmatic men of power’ down from their high horses to have the time and inclination of giving due cognizance to social morality? (if I may rephrase K. B. Clark’s statement). How do we bring the one living on the ivory tower back to the reality of their psychosocial state?

Some people think they have a monopoly of influencing people and a natural talent for producing a direct exercise of command, someone recently said “I have changed political party three times and have not lost the people… they knew I had to, every time I did…”, manipulation comes natural to that kind of persons. They are always daring, it would not matter if there are Commissioners, Secretaries to Government or Ministers, they will always dare and challenge their Bosses. They will always see themselves as born leaders, extraordinary persons more capable than everyone else. These are all symptoms of a sickness called Narcissism. While drafting this write up, I consciously avoided the definition of Narcissism that says they think they are some kind of gods, but then when Mimiko was reacting to the court verdict that says the House of Representative member representing Akure Federal Constituency should vacate his seat on the account of changing his political party, he said “you cannot fight God and win…”. Does anyone need further confirmation?

Let me quickly tell you who a Narcissist is and how Olusegun Mimiko fits that personality disorderliness. A Narcissist is one with an over inflated sense of self-importance and extreme preoccupation with himself. It is always about him, as far as he is concerned the world revolves around him. Usually characterized by an archetypal manipulative personality, Narcissists always crave perfect mirroring, absolute striking and excellent feedback. He just has to be in control, and is driven by the need to be liked, desired and appreciated. When things are not going his way, he resolves to withdrawal and isolation.

Like a child searching for missing entitlement, Olusegun Mimiko had been seeking to occupy the Executive Office of the Governor of Ondo State since the military era. Like his predecessor, he sought to start by being the Deputy Governor and moving up the ladder as quickly as possible. He lost the Deputy Governorship bid to Agagu during the nomination stages in the Olumilua Campaign Group in SDP and was appointed a Commissioner instead. Soon after democracy returned, he could not wait another four years under Adefarati to become Governor, he just had to leave the generally acknowledged progressive camp at the time, to team up with his former competitor to rig his (Agagu) own election. When Agagu’s first term was nearing an end, he was said to have informed the ‘Exco’ that he would be running for a second term. Omolade Oluwateru, the Deputy Governor at the time was said to have responded that he was nursing a gubernatorial ambition himself, but now that the Boss had expressed interest, he suspends his interest and will be supporting Agagu 100%; the Finance Commissioner (Tayo Alasoadura) was reported to have said the same except that he was supporting Agagu 110%. While Mimiko was said to have been bold enough to withhold his support and said that when Agagu sought his support in 2003, he promised to run for only one term. Every public function before and after that incident witnessed an “Idiagbon look” on the Secretary to the State Government (Mimiko) until the welcome ceremony for Agagu from a U.S. vacation in 2005. I called a friend and said “Mimiko smiled on TV” that was strange, it turned out that he was already nominated for a ministerial appointment. That will not make him rest, the final bulk must stop on his desk, and he must be the Boss!

Heuristic considerations can lead people to making rather irrational decisions; it is only a natural function of the human chemistry (the decision of the Abraham Adesanya led Afenifere to compassionately support ‘one of our own’ is an indelible example in this category). When the people of Ondo State started getting tired of the Agagu administration desperation set in, complicated by the formation and reformation of new alliances quite close to the 2007 elections, emotions made the people susceptible to shrewd manipulative skills of the master manipulator. The people of Ondo State, educated as they were, gave in to the misleading conception that the Labour Party was an off shoot of the Nigerian Labour Congress – the people’s champion. That was more convincing at the beginning with Adams Oshiomole in the sort; people were working under the assumption that the party will be a left wing movement akin to the Labour Congress. Iroko kept them in that believe, and they voted for him on that basis. Little did they know that they were voting for someone who had always craved power just for the sake of having it. He had no clue what he was going to do with it. Hence at inauguration, the only thing he could promise was some kind of civic registration, “some people will come to you to take your data, they are from me” was the only message in the inaugural speech. The propaganda with which Ondo State was going to be smoke-screened started with the nomenclature of that project: Kaadi Igbe Ayo (the Card of Good Living). Today, unofficial estimates put the amount of money wasted on that unsuccessful ‘social registration’ at N20 billion. It still baffles me how a government cannot do in four years what five well meaning people with no formal training in information technology would have done in four months. Entering the data of the less than four million residents of Ondo State in a database with unique ID numbers and even cards produced is neither a N1billion nor life time project. Save the card project, every single project that has been embarked upon by the Iroko administration has been copies of the Fashola administration’s projects in Lagos, including the state logo, bus stops, flower planting and the painting of government projects in uniform colors. Take a look at the buses Fasola brought to Lagos, those same Daewoo buses that tear like pieces of paper are the same Mimiko had gone to purchase.

Mimiko’s inordinate desire for perfect mirroring, excellent striking and flawless feed backs reflects in how much money his administration had spent on putting up and maintaining an image in the mass media. You would wonder if Dayo Johnson works for Vanguard or Yinka Oladoyinbo for Tribune or for ODSG Governor’s Office. One of the reasons Ranti Akerele was removed as the Commissioner for Information was said to be that he was ‘pocketing’ the N10million a week meant to promote the Governor on a weekly programme on AIT. Most likely on a tip off, the Governor called him to ask when the programme was going to be aired for a particular week and that was the end of the notorious “second Governor”. Naturally intellectuals do not have unanimous opinions especially about subjective evaluations like the performance of an office holder; it used to be same with journalists until the cancer of corruption destroyed the last strand of the ethics of journalism in Nigeria. How much of our money had gone int

o the image laundering of Olusegun Mimiko will not be known until after October 2012. He must get his 100 percent feed back at all costs.

When things are not working the Narcissist’s way, he withdraws, isolates himself and reclusion becomes the name of the game. This trait was exhibited by Mimiko when in 2011 there were protests in sections of Akure. There was at least one ‘demonstration’ per week by at least one section of the city starting with the area around Oluwatuyi Quarters. The people were complaining of lack of regular electricity and renege on campaign promise to procure more transformers for them; they would barricade the major roads thereby paralyzing that area. Just as that was becoming rampant, state workers began strikes for parity. They claimed the Governor promised them the minimum of N15, 000 as salaries before becoming Governor; his supporters said he only commented that as oil producing state Ondo should not pay less than N15, 000 as basic salary. He did not only respond by sacking all his commissioners, he sacked the entire decoy Care-Takers Committees heading the Local Governments as well. He tagged the strike action ’ACN instigated’, I watched him say “Ejo lowo ‘nu” (there is more than meets the eye to this). That is a typical Narcissist for you.

I will not discuss in detail here how Mimiko manipulated Tinubu and the ACN leaders into believing he will join them if they help him win the case to reclaim his mandate, as that is a topic for another day. Narcissists generally cannot accept that they are subordinate to anyone, which is why Mimiko had refused to fulfill his promise to join the ACN and would not return to the PDP either. He neither would take a Labour Party Chairman with the ideology that the party is supreme, nor will he be a member of any Afenifere that believes in taking orders from elders. As far as he is concerned he is the elder, the Boss and that is how it has to be. Take some good looks at the pictures from the third anniversary celebrations of Iroko administration, you will see the arrogance with which he held the Deji of Akure, his body language was like ‘after all I single-handedly installed him’. The three kings from Akoko were almost bowing to him in one of the pictures. In another one the Onise of Ise Akoko was talking to him while he was huffishly looking the other direction. He recently took a picture with the Ooni of Ife where he was patting the Yoruba paramount king on the back. The culture that says he has to prostrate before the king had lost it validity perhaps because there was no office of the Governor at the time, neither is the consideration that HRM Okunade Sijuade is old enough to be his father any longer of value. Yet King Sunny Ade was humble enough to bow while greeting him in yet another of the “third year of Iroko” pictures.

Even if it was not Edmund Burke that said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, the saying is a truism anyway. For the sake of our darling sunshine state the people must be awakened to the undesirable and disqualifying characters of those that lead them. If electing George Walker Bush as President of the United States was a mistake; returning him for a second term was a disaster. The economic mess consequent upon that mishap remains the biggest challenge for any current or aspiring President of the United States. International law is still burdened with repairing the damage of the W. Bush presidency. Why then should the people of Ondo State fail to learn from the abundance of examples on how imbalanced leaders have knocked even established systems off balance? Why should we plunge our state to four more years of the combination of economic bugs, cancer worms and sycophants?

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