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Is Mimiko the only Ondo governor to live through tenure, as claimed?

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Claim: A Facebook user claimed that Olusegun Mimiko is the only Ondo state governor who did not die during his administration.

Is Mimiko the only Ondo governor to live through tenure, as claimed?

Verdict: FALSE. All previous state governors witnessed the end of their administration in good health, except the current governor, who died on Dec. 27, 2023.

Full Text

The sitting governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, succumbed to eternal rest after battling a prolonged illness that was later disclosed to be prostate cancer, according to Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the state’s information and orientation commissioner.

Mixed feelings trailed Mr Akeredolu’s death in Ondo state. While the incident saddened his core supporters, some sectors have other ideas about the 67-year-old politician. For some, it is a time to discuss happenings in the state.

Oroki Foods, a Facebook user, said Olusegun Mimiko was the only governor of the Sunshine State who didn’t die during his administration. She said, “So Mimiko is still the only governor in Ondo state that didn’t die on that [seat]. Hmm, Ondo people, what is going on?”

As of Dec. 27, 2023, the post gained 420 likes, 89 comments, and 67 reshares, with differing thoughts.

Afolashade Bukola said, “This shows that Mimiko actually did well to Ondo state people. May he live long.”

Akande Joy, having a different opinion, said, “Do you mean die as sitting governors or afterwards, [because] I can remember well that Agagu only died years after finishing tenure.”

Due to the varying reactions generated, DUBAWA decided to fact-check the claim to clear all doubts.

Verification

Using keywords relating to Ondo state, we conducted an advanced search and found some records about the state.

Since Nigeria returned fully to democracy, only twice has a state governor won a second term bid: Olusegun Mimiko and Mr Akeredolu. Of these two, only Mr Mimiko finished his eight years in office.

This means that the state has been ruled by four politicians since 1999, starting with Adebayo Adefarati of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) who led from 1999 to 2003 before losing his second term bid to Olusegun Agagu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Agagu’s second term bid was abruptly ended by the Appeal Court in July 2008 to give way for Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) after spending more than a year in office since the state’s April 14, 2007, gubernatorial poll. Mimiko handed power to Akeredolu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2016.

DUBAWA discovered that Adefarati, aged 76, died on March 29, 2007, at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, of an undisclosed illness. The incident occurred four years after he left office. His successor, Agagu, slumped to death in his Lagos home on Sept. 13, 2013, at the age of 65, four years after he was sacked by the Appeal Court in 2009.

With Mimiko still hale and hearty after ending his tenure in 2016, that leaves Akeredolu as the only governor of Ondo state who died as a sitting governor at 67. Mr Akeredolu has been replaced by his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, a few hours after his death was announced.

Conclusion

While most state governors apart from Mimiko could not finish their tenure, only Akeredolu died during his administration. Therefore, the claim is false.

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