(RIGHT OF REPLY): On Bola Bolawole’s “As Ondo governorship race hots up”

Mr Bola Bolawole is an experienced journalist. One would, therefore, have expected him to authenticate or verify the correctness of materials sent to him before using them.

When lies are published in the name of reader’s reaction, falsehood is legitimized and the truth is further undermined. The society pays the ultimate price. The utter falsehood written by one Obagade on Dr Olusegun Mimiko and Owo, falls into the category of shameless lies; blatant lies. That such found space on Bola Bolawole’s article and escaped possible fact checks confounds, but then that should be a debate for another day.

The truth is that there was no time Owo was not represented in the State cabinet while Mimiko was governor as deliberately twisted in Bolawole’s piece. Indeed, in Mimiko’s first four years, Owo had two full cabinet members – Alhaji Sikiru Basaru, and Barrister Niran Sule. On assumption of office, Dr. Mimiko appointed an Owo man, Rev. Soji Gbadebo, as Director (head), Government House and Protocols, a position he held for more than four years, and on which he retired as a Permanent Secretary. Another Owo man, Chief Ale, the current Chief of Staff, was the Secretary to the Cabinet as PS, Cabinet, in the Governor’s Office.

During the Mimiko tenure, no less than five Owo indigenes got appointed as PS. Dr. Alaba Lad-Ojomo, an eminent Owo son, was appointed by Mimiko as Chairman of the Governing Council of the State-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. How then do all of these come down to marginalisation of Owo community?

In terms of infrastructure, the road dualisation project of the Mimiko government practically started in Owo, where a long stretch of the major road in the town was dualised. Total dualised road constructed in Owo and Ondo stood at 10.2km and 9.75km respectively.

The Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, at Owo, was practically rebuilt by the Mimiko administration, to the admiration of all. As a matter of fact, which is easily verifiable, what the Mimiko government spent on infrastructure development in Owo was comparable with what it spent on everyone of the major cities in the State, including Ondo West LGA, where Governor Mimiko comes from.

It is wicked to suggest that an Owo man was removed as Head of Service for an Ondo man by Mimiko. The truth is, when Mr Alaba Isijola from Owo retired as HoS, it was Mr. Ajose Kudehibu, from the Southern Senatorial zone, not from Ondo West LGA, that was appointed into the office. He was followed by Mrs Kosemani Kolawole. Although Ifedore LGA by birth, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole is from Owo by marriage. She, like her predecessors, and Toyin Akinkuotu, who got appointed after him, was the most senior civil servant in Ondo State at the time of her appointment. She also, by so doing, became the first woman to be so appointed in the Sunshine State.

In fact of the 20 Permanent Secretaries appointed under the Mimiko administration in 2012, 3 were from Owo and 2 from Ondo. These are easily verifiable facts, and a journalist of Bolawole’s status should have done just that before using a material by an obviously mischievous individual (Obagade) who would want his readers to believe the farce he glibly wrote about Mimiko passing over an Owo indigene in the appointment of HoS.

The likes of Obagade peddle lies, and a journalist of Bolawole’s caliber ought to at the very least check rejoinders and or contributions for facts.

Please, let our journalists, especially the more senior ones, do some due diligence before they publish. This is the minimum they can do for the ever noble profession of journalism.

Olusegun Peter sent this piece via olusegunpeter01@gmail.com

 

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