Though the race for the governorship seat in Edo State for 2016 is yet to commence, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in the State Barrister Kenneth Imansuangbon, has indicated interest to throw his hat in the rings. In this interview with Assistant Editor, Sam Anokam, the APC chieftain speaks about Buhari’s victory, why he is called ‘Rice Man’, among other issues.
Though a lot of people have spoken about Buhari’s victory, what is your own take on it?
First and foremost, we must give gratitude to God for granting the Nigeria people a free and fair election, and for making Nigeria one indivisible country. This election is the greatest miracle to happen in this country. If you cast your mind back to various evil predictions of people including the international community, one would have thought by now that Nigeria would have ceased to exist but God came down in his glory to speak peace into this country. So Nigerians including myself must continuously be grateful to God for the peace and progress recorded during the elections.
It is not the victory of Mr. A or the failure of Mr. B that matters, it is the way and manner Nigerians conducted themselves that count. For the elected President, Gen. Buhari, his victory is a blessing to 170 million Nigerians irrespective of religious, social and political party differences, his overwhelming victory has shown Nigeria as one country that is united and strong among democratic nations. The victory over his opponent came at a time Nigerians needed a rebirth, it came at a time the people needed a genuine political transformation, it came at a time Nigeria needed a rejuvenation and resuscitation, it came at the right time of our political history, a time most Nigerians were becoming ‘pissed off’ with the system, it came at a time people were losing confidence in the democratic process. It came when the generality of the people wanted a taste of new leadership and most importantly, it came when Nigerians needed a change in all facet of human endeavour.
His victory has brought out the democratic awareness and political consciousness of the Nigerian electorates showing that the time of political dictatorship and god fatherism are over. It is the duty of the electorates to chose their leaders. Nigeria has indeed made a tremendous progress in our democracy.
Did you have any premonition of Buhari’s victory?
Before the elections, I told my people to give their votes to the APC candidate, because I saw victory smiling on the face of Gen. Buhari. I had a premonition that APC was going to carry the day. Those who had political eyes could see where the thing was going and now that it is clear, they can see what I was talking about. Nigerians must put behind them their political differences and join hands to help this new government succeed , because this country is for us all so we must stay to salvage it.
Could we share your thoughts on corruption?
Buhari is one man that is known for his fight against corruption. Corruption has become an epidemic in our society because of bad leadership. Take it or leave it, under this government, corruption will be reduced drastically. It is not going to be business as usual He will definitely deliver on his promises to the people of Nigeria.
How do you view APC as a party?
All Progressive Congress APC is a more articulated and more organized political party. The leaders are not one sided. They all have a common goal, they are politically conscious of the Nigeria environment. It is a progressive party for progressive minds. It is a party where political aspirations and dreams are actualized. It is a party for visionary people and leaders. So my decision to join the party is not a wrong choice but a wise decision I have made. All APC States in Nigeria are governed by people with vision. And look at the democratic dividend and transformation that has been taking place in the state today, it is as a result of good and purposeful leadership. So by the special Grace of God when I take over from the Comrade governor in Edo State in 2016, our people will sing more victorious songs all to the glory of God. APC as a visionary political party is totally committed to taking our great nation Nigeria to its pinnacle of glory. What is expected of us as citizens of Nigeria is to rally round General Buhari and his cabinet.
You are popular in your state and known as Mr. Rice or Rice Man, why the sobriquet?
It is not for fun that the good people of this state call me ‘Rice Man’. It is because of my giving nature. I’m happy giving to the less privilege in our society, because each time I give, I feel fulfilled. My magnanimous and philanthropic way of life is a calling by God. I’m called to come and help the masses, sharing is part of me so I cannot stop giving. What is the life after all? It is about you being able to recognize that your next door neighbour is in need. God making you rich is not because you are too honest or too holy, it is by the grace of God Almighty. When I’m governor by 2016, Edo people will see more of my philanthropist nature.