By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
As the race for the governorship ticket gets close all hands on deck to get who the cap fits, this most people believes is Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon (aka Riceman) as he is generally accepted in the three Senatorial Districts by all.
Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon(aka Riceman), a Nigerian educationist, lawyer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and politician has remained altruistically consistent; stoutly focused and consciously people friendly, while ministering to the most basic needs of Edo people, regardless of his political setbacks at electioneering.
Early in 2007, Barrister Imansuagbon stepped down for Mr. Adams Oshiomhole to fly the ticket of the Action Congress(AC) when both of them contested the governorship of the state because Edo North where Oshiomhole comes from has never produced the Governor of Edo State. That is the typical Ken Imasuagbon with a sense of justice and fairness. A man who abhors desperation in politics.
Ever resilient Ken Imansuagbon activated his quest to govern Edo State when he defeated General Charles Airhiavbere in Benin speaking areas in the seven local government areas of the state but the General managed to win the keenly contested primary election with the help of political big wings.
The very recent of his political act of selflessness and magnanimity was demonstrated in 2020 when he willingly stand down his gubernatorial ambition for Governor Godwin Obaseki to fly the Peoples Democratic Party’s(PDP) ticket when the pillaging Mr. Adams Oshiomhole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as then national chairman of the party pulled out the carpet from under Governor Obaseki’s feet.
It is only a personage of Barrister Imansuagbon’s outstanding large heartedness that could subordinate his long time sought after ambition for another persons, considering the fact that himself is from Edo Central that has not been given opportunity to produce governor of the state since 1999 at the debut of the present Fourth Republic.
Apart from being a household name in Edo State, Barrister Imansuagbon’s biography, date of birth, age, early life, family, wife, education, political position, net worth, houses, are daily manual rehearsed by the citizens of the state who are jostling for a renewed Edo State that works.
Born on May 4th, 1966; educated at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile Ife, with a degree in Law, Imansuagbon is one of the self-made Nigerian politicians and a humanist, as well as a thoroughbred advocate of equity and justice, as an equalist.
Barrister Imansuagbon is also the chairman of the Abuja based Pacesetters Group of Schools and a Principal Partner at Imansuagbon and Co, a legal firm he founded. In the early 1980s, he worked as a Technical Assistant in training at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
His household name “The Rice Man” is as a result of his annual sharing of rice. Over the years, he has repeatedly visited and is still visiting the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), with rice and some cash donations to the hospital management for the payment of hospital bills of numerous patients who could not pay their medical bills. This humanitarian gesture has earned him a ward named after him ‘Kenneth Imansuagbon Ward’ in UBTH.
Asides UBTH’s celebratory contribution and human solidarity efforts for the less privileged and the downtrodden, Irrua General Hospital has benefitted and is still benefitting immensely from Barrister Imansuagbon’s uncommon and unyielding commitments for Edo State that works. Often time he visited the hospital to share rice and make payment of medical bills to support family and patients that cannot offset their bills. And this has become a regular routine.
Barrister Imansuagbon has been dubbed Sports Grand Patron in Nigeria for over a period of time. The Kenneth Imansuagbon’s All Secondary Football Competition is one of the football platforms where young and talented youths look forward to in Abuja for onward football career in the international communities.
The educationist has made the point time and again that investments in Education is the best that has happened to humanity and Edo people, and that he would make Education a priority once elected the Governor of Edo State come 2024.
As the moves towards 2024 governorship election generates traction, Edo people are not looking far between because Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon who fits the bill, holds the aces. The people are eagerly waiting for his rainbow coalition mandate.
With Barrister Imansuagbon, it is Edo citizens’ turn to enjoy good governance!