In the Spirit of the Season 


Adibe Emenyonu writes on the visit of Kenneth Imansuangbon to internally displaced persons in Edo and the payment of the hospital bill of an indigent patient at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital

In the past, his annual distribution of rice to the poor in Edo State, was tagged politically motivated because of his political ambition.
Imansuangbon, the Proprietor Pace Setters Group of School, Abuja is a politician. First, he was a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he contested for the governorship primaries of the party in 2012 but lost to General Charles Airhiavbere.

Not satisfied, he potted to the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he contested for the gubernatorial primaries. Then it was an annual ritual for him to distribute rice especially during the Christmas period which earned him the nickname “Rice Man”.

Therefore, with his inability to fulfill his political ambition of governing the state, it was not expected that Imansuangbon would engage in his annual rituals of distribution of rice to Edo people this year, a philanthropist gesture he has been doing for the past 10 years..

He however proved all his critics wrong when he decided to continue with the distribution of rice to the less-privileged members of the society that would have never know any Christmas celebration last year.

When asked why he continued with the gift of the items in spite of what happened to him in the political arena he said, “my love for Edo people is natural, it is not defined by political consideration, religion or tribe or economic status of the people. I have been to the Mosques, Churches and the open streets to give rice to the people. So, my love for Edo people is from God and deep from my heart. Politics will come and go, my love for my people remains.”

He said that if he had won the party’s governorship primary and the election, he would ensure the establishment of communal rice farms across the state to provide food security but lamented that the cabals in the party and government stopped him.

This year distribution of rice took Imansuangbon and his team to the 18 local government areas of Edo State. The first round of tour took off from Igarra in Akoko- Edo Local Government through Owan West and Owan East to the three local governments in Etsako Federal constituency. The following day, he was at Ekpoma, Irrua, Uromi, Igueben, Ubiaja and his home town, Ewohimi all in Edo Central
Senatorial zone.

The climax of the distribution was at the Edo South Senatorial district when he visited the seven local government areas in the zone.
Incidentally, his visit to the Internally Displaced Persons camp at Ohogua in Ovia North East Local Government was remarkable and would remain indelible in his mind. Tears flow freely from his eyes when he saw the children and inmates of the camp who ought to be with their parents and loved ones celebrate the Christmas. He mingled and danced to their music freely.

At the camp, he advised the inmates not to be dispelled as God Almighty would always be there for their needs just as he challenged Governor Godwin Obaseki and all well to do in the society to come to the aide of the inmates by providing succour to them now that they
needed them most.

Receiving the food items and other consumables, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho, the coordinator of the IDP camp expressed gratitude to Mr. Imansuangbon for the gift of items. He said his visit to the camp was a morale booster to the inmates as they would once remember “Christmas”.

And at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin, management of the hospital named Ward B4 of the Male Surgical Ward of the hospital after Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon for his outstanding contributions to the hospital.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Mike Ibadin, who disclosed this when Imansuangbon visited the hospital to donate bags of rice and the sum of N1 million, said the gesture became necessary in view of the fact that since he was hospitalised and discharged from the hospital which almost claimed his life, he has continuously fulfilled his annual vow of assisting the UBTH.

According to Ibadin, “Imansuangbon is not the only patient that has benefited from the services of the hospital, but he is the only one that has kept his promise after the accident he had and was discharged from the hospital.”

He used the opportunity to appeal to others who have benefited from the services of the hospital to emulate Imansuangbon by contributing to the development of UBTH.

Earlier, Imansuangbon while presenting the cheque and food items, said he remained grateful to the medical personnel of the hospital that took care of him when he was brought to the hospital after the life threatening accident which had occurred along the Agbor-Uromi road in 2013, just as he praised them for their competence in saving his life.

Imansuangbon who was full of emotion when he visited the ward named after him, offset the N200,000 medical bill of Stephen Imoholemen, a patient who had occupied the very bed he laid on three years ago as an accident victim to the hospital.

On the ward named after him, he said “I am very excited because this is coming from an unusual quarter. I am now fired up and forever, I will live my life in the service of society.”

Responding, Imholeme, a native of Auchi, and a National Diploma holder in Computer Science who had a perforated stomach ulcer, said he was grateful and confused because he has been calling for help all this while without response before Imansuangbon came to his rescue.