The University of Benin Teaching Hospital recently honoured a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon, former Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenmen, two-time member representing Esan Central, Esan West and Igueben federal constituency, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale and an industrialist, Mr. Andrew Agenmonmen. Adibe Emenyonu who was at the event, reports
The occasion was a valedictory session to mark the end of eight years tenure of Professor Michael Ibadin as the Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). Little wonder as early as 9a.m., the over 1,000 capacity hall was filled up.
Giving reasons for the honour, Ibadin said the recipients provided exceptional support for the hospital in times of need.
While former Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenmen was honoured with the hospitals merit award, former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Kenneth Imansuangbon was honoured in recognition of his philanthropic gesture toward indigent patients in the hospital and providing financial support to the hospital.
Also honoured with the merit award of the hospital was a former member of the House of Representatives, Patrick Ikhariale and an industrialist, Mr. Andrew Agenmonmen.
Particularly, Ibadin said Imansuangbon has lived up to his promise to provide annual financial support since 2013.
Two years ago, Imansuangbon, popularly called â€˜Rice Manâ€™ because of his yearly Christmas donation of rice to the poor, while thanking the management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) under the leadership of the then Chief Medical Director (CMD), Professor Michael Ibadin for the role, the facility played in bringing him back to life after a ghastly auto crash which nearly claimed his spinal cord in 2013, promised to give back to the hospital as a mark of appreciation. Then, some people felt he was just sweet talking.
Recounting the sordid experience, Imansuangbon at the occasion said: “God Almighty used UBTH and the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Professor Michael Ibadin, to save my life in 2013.
“After the truck hit my vehicle, my spinal cord was almost gone but Professor Ibadin said my spinal cord must not crumble. The hospital resuscitated me and I am alive today.
“So, I made a promise to myself that I will always donate to this hospital annually to show gratitude to them.â€
Nevertheless, most people who are familiar with the philanthropic gestures of the politician cum school proprietor will always talk about his many efforts to make life meaningful for the needy.
On a yearly basis the Ewohimi-born lawyer, through his foundation organises an essay competition for students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions across the 18 local government areas of the state where prizes and gifts ranging from educational materials to money and scholarships are offered to successful participants. The programme has been on for about 10 years.
It is also public knowledge that at every Christmas in the past years, Imansuangbon traverses the nooks and crannies of Edo State with trailer loads of bags of rice which he shared out to whoever desires it irrespective of their political affiliation, religious leaning and ethnic grouping.
Therefore, for someone from a humble home, he describes his actions as “a call to service.”
He said: â€œEach time I see people suffering, I weep; I cannot hold back. I can give everything I have rather than see somebody go naked. Thatâ€™s me; I canâ€™t change it. Iâ€™ve found out that you donâ€™t need even one per cent of your total earning in life; sit down and calculate all that youâ€™ve eaten today. I have a divine call to give and I get satisfaction doing just that. Each time you give, God will never allow you to go hungry. Giving is not about cash; you can give in different ways. When you give your time, you are contributing to the good of the society.â€
It was these qualities that distinguish Imansuangbon when Ibadin at the occasion, said the Abuja school proprietor has kept to his promise.
Ibadin while bestowing the award further noted, “It is for his philanthropic gesture toward indigent patients in the hospital and providing financial support for the hospital.”
He added that other recipients like Onolemenmen, Ikhariale and Agenmomen supported the hospital during his eight-year reign as CMD.
Although none of the recipients was present at the event, but speaking on behalf of others, Imansuangbon, who was represented by Dr. Obehi Akoria, thanked the hospital for the honour and promised to do more to uplift the poor and the needy.