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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has commended his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, for his giant strides in the state’s health sector during his eight years as governor of the state, describing his performance in the health sector of the state when he governed the state as a reference point.
Mimiko ruled the state between 2019 and 2017.
Akeredolu gave the commendation while speaking at the first convocation of the Ondo State University of Medical Science (UNIMED), in Ondo city on Friday.
The university was established in 2014 by the Mimiko-led administration.
The governor said successes made by his administration in the state’s health sector must be attributed to Mimiko who laid a solid foundation for his government.
Akeredolu who was full of praises for his predecessor said: “The whole of Ondo state will forever be grateful to my predecessor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who thought it wise to begin this (University of Medical Sciences) project in our state, we want to thank you for your vision and passion.
He said he resisted pressures from various quarters to not continue with the vision of the university’s founding fathers “I chose to come on board to continue this your (Mimiko) excellent legacy because of the uniqueness and whatever achievement we have made in health in Ondo state belongs to you.”
The Governor and his wife, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu were among eminent personalities that were conferred with the institution’s Hero’s’ award in recognition of their love and commitment to the progress and sustainability of the institution.
He added: “Government is a continuum and I will continue to do what I believe is right. We will continue to do our very best to support the University of Medical Sciences.”
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has vowed to continue to add value to the educational aspirations of the people of the state by supporting the best ideas for moving the State forward.
Governor Akeredolu said the hope and vision of his administration is to see that Ondo State becomes the number one state that has the best and most modern infrastructure for educational development in the country.
Akeredolu, who pointed out that Ondo is a State where people love education, and where education is the number one industry of most families, stressed that his administration will continue to do its very best to support the University of Medical Sciences and all State tertiary institutions that have been so well distributed across the three senatorial districts of the State.
While charging the Council and Management of the institution on purposeful development, Governor Akeredolu said they must shun self-interest, further charging them to be accountable in the use of the meager resources of the institution following “due process”, transparency and accountability.
The Governor said: “At this point, let me congratulate the Council, Senate, staff and students of UNIMED for this milestone development. It’s due to the hard work that you all have put in that we are witnessing today’s event.
“I do hope you will continue in this manner to ensure even greater successes for the University. I also congratulate the graduating students, their parents and guardians, who must be very happy that what began as a small anecdote only a few years ago, has now transformed into a big success for their wards and families.
“The graduating students must also know that the degree they are getting today is only a small seed, which they should make bigger and stronger in their quest for personal development.
”I therefore wish to call on UNIMED and indeed all Universities in Ondo State to ensure that their management is strong and that senior management officials are appointed with consideration for merit, track records, integrity and strong University management experience.
“As the Visitor, I will continue to monitor the trends in order to ensure that only the very best personnel that buy into the vision and mission of the State for educational development will find places in the management of our tertiary educational system.“
In his address, UNIMED Vice Chancellor, Prof. Friday Okonofua commended Mimiko’s ingenuity in establishing the university. He said the university decided to honour Mimiko with the Heroes award because the institution cannot award honorary doctorate degrees until it begins its Postgraduate programs.
“Dr Mimiko’s role can never be forgotten for the foresightedness with which he established the University, and for the brazenness with which he appointed me the Vice Chancellor. The fact that I am not from Ondo state also made it very exemplary, which made me to be determined never to disappoint him and the good people of the state. Till date, he continues to provide unique and exemplary support and advice to the University.” the VC added.
Other eminent personalities such as Executive Secretary of the Nigerian University Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed and Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council of UNIMED, Dr Temitayo Fawehinmi, commended Mimiko for establishing the first University of Medical Sciences, “I will like to acknowledge Dr Mimiko for his vision and courage for establishing the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo – first in Africa” Fawehinmi said.
Responding on behalf of the rest awardees, Mimiko said the institution will continue to enjoy their support as he used the occasion to admonish government to invest massively in education and maintain university autonomy.