By Thomas Imuetiyan
Time is ripe for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State to sail its way to the Osadebey Avenue, the seat of power. The current crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) has provided the leeway for the PDP to regain the power it carelessly lost in 2008.
Edo APC is seriously battered. The performance of the party led by Godwin Obaseki has been poor and Edo people are looking for an alternative platform such as the PDP.
Many aspirant has indicated interest to be the PDP’s flag bearer. Notable among the aspirants is Mr. KennethI Imasuangbon popularly known as the Rice Man.
Imasuangbon, an erudite lawyer, an educationist, philanthropist and a man with big heart has been yearning to govern Edo State since 2007.
He is reputed to have spent billions of naira to distribute rice to the poor during festive periods. Besides, sharing of rice, Imasuangbon has empowered thousands of youths in ICT through his annual quiz competition where iPads and cash support are given free to students.
He joined active politics in 2004 and attempted to contest the governorship in 2007 under the defunct Action Congress. Imasuangbon could have joined the ruling PDP then but he opted for a party of the masses.
The AC had no structure but Imasuangbon gave it life by paying for its secretariat and providing furniture to be used by party members. He was however pressured to step down for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Despite seeing the party to victory, Imasuangbon, who was not happy with the manner the party was run, left for the opposition PDP when the party was at its lowest ebb.
He helped reconciled warring factions and put the party in strong shape. In 2012, Imasuangbon contested at the PDP primaries but lost to General Charles Airhiavbere at the behest of late Chief Tony Anenih. Not satisfied with the manner the primaries was manipulated, Imasuangbon returned to the APC
In 2016, he was among the aspirants that contested against incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki and also lost out at the primaries.
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Imasuangbon returned to the PDP in 2018 to help strengthen the party and sack the incompetent administration of Obaseki. He has been providing necessary financial support añd engaging in massive grassroot mobilisation to make the party strong in Edo.
He has again indicated interest to contest for the governorship ticket under the PDP and this time Imasuangbon is the right person the PDP can hope on to defeat Obaseki.
Imasuangbon is the only PDP aspirant that has not held any political appointment or elective positions. He has not received any contract from either the state or federal government. He has spent his money to finance the Edo PDP through troubled times and never cared to the paid back.
Across the state, Imansuangbon is a household name. He will not be a candidate that will need introduction. He has helped to pay medical bills for patients in several hospitals. Traditional rulers are abreast of his good gestures towards the people.
The Edo PDP needs victory and the man that can take the party’s flag to Osadebey Avenue is Kenneth Imansuangbon.
A nonsensical argument being peddled by short sighted politicians is that it would be difficult for candidate from Edo Central to win governorship election in the state.
Imasuangbon has the capacity to win elections in the state. He has established his name in the heart of the ordinary people.
- Thomas is a political commentator based in Benin City
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