THE thrust of government is ultimately connected to generous and compassionate minds. At a time in human evolvement, there was no government. It was a life of everyone to his or her self without a consideration for the feelings or survival of the other person. It was the survival of the fittest. The famous Thomas Hobbes ‘State of Nature’ was a philosophy that explains the evil of individual self interest. The spirit to give or to extend a helping hand to those in needs is the beginning of civilisation and a responsible government.
Therefore, only an evil mind will grudge generosity; or be unhappy with the kindness of man to humanity. Luckily for the human race, such minds are always in insignificant minority in all societies.
I have no doubt that the people of Edo state will reward the philanthropy of their son, Ken Imansuangbon in his contest for the governor of Edo State in this year, 2016. Edo people are enlightened and appreciative of good gesture. This is validated by the outcome of previous elections in Edo State where the electorates voted for verifiable positive antecedents as against sentiments and other parochial considerations.
Imansuangbon’s involvement in Edo state APC governorship primaries and the general election in 2016 is anchored on this background.
In a newspaper article on February 24th, 2016, titled: Edo Politics and the Perennial pretenders, the author expressed his grudge for the distribution of rice by Imansuangbon to the people of Edo state. The sermon of my church Bishop will continue to be my reference point and a reply to all envious persons of good gesture. In his sermon, he challenged all aspirants to show evidence of their past kindness to their neighbours. He added: “If you say Ken Imansuangbon has been throwing one kilogramme of rice to the people, show us where you threw one cup of rice to the beggars on the street.” According to the Bishop, those who will use their personal resources to assist the needy in the society are doing the work of God. It is unfair to castigate the generous minds. The children of God always pray for generous minds.
Ken Imansuangbon has repeatedly told the story behind his annual rice sharing, to the effect that it has no direct link with his gubernatorial ambition. It is an appreciation of a woman that gave his widow mother and his siblings rice to eat during a Christmas celebration many years ago when his family was not in a financial position to afford a cup of rice. He made a vow to God that if he is blessed in the future, he will give rice to Edo society. Imansuangbon keeps his promises; and this is why Edo people have been appreciative of him, trusting that he will keep to his promise to serve Edo state creditably when and if elected as governor of Edo State.
The lawyer-politician has never assumed that he can feed the entire people of Edo state with rice, which gift is targeted at the low class and some vital institutions and organisations in Edo state. In December 2015, seven churches were visited in Benin City with many bags of rice gift ranging from 10kg, 25kg and 50kg.Several orphanages in Benin City and the home for Internally Displaced Persons arising from the Boko Haram crisis were visited with many bags of rice. The University of Benin teaching hospital UBTH got many bags of rice in addition to one million Naira in appreciation of the good works UBTH was doing in Edo state. Security agencies and Benin prison equally received the Christmas rice gift. Major motor parks across the 18 local government areas of Edo state were visited with the Christmas gift to target some members of Edo public. This brief statistics is not meant to exaggerate the good gestures of Ken Imansuangbon, but to expose the intentions of those complaining about his philanthropy.
In July 2015, Ken Imansuangbon gave scholarships and different awards to the winners of the annual Ken Imansuangbon essay competition. Edo children in their hundreds in junior secondary school, senior secondary school and all tertiary institutions, both public and private in Edo state benefitted. The award ceremony was held at the university of Benin main auditorium. The deputy vice-chancellor, who represented the VC acknowledged the annual rice generosity of Ken Imansuangbon to Edo people and advised that the generosity should be expanded by establishing rice farms. The advice of the DVC was taken and the programmes of Ken Imansuagbon as governorship candidate in Edo state that is already in circulation has agricultural development, with the cultivation of rice as a cardinal objective.
It is important to emphasize that the aim here is not to present the score card of this noble Edo son and a known philanthropist. It is to advise his political critics and their sponsors not to be unkind to God and begrudge his son that is doing good to humanity; And to make it clear that Edo people and the APC delegates will not vote for sentiment, bogus claims and parochial considerations.
Ken Imansuangbon is undisputedly qualified to be elected as the next governor of Edo state. He has the academic qualifications. He has the experience and clear evidence of a job creator and a man that can generate income for Edo State, and not to rely on allocation from Abuja. Even his critics, in the article, still mentioned the capacity of schools owned by Imansuangbon in Abuja. He is a regular tax payer with known means of income, and whose credibility is not in doubt. He has no previous or current issues with security agencies on financial matter or any other bothering on crime.
His critics should be courageous enough to mention a better aspirant for the governor of Edo state and let Edo people know whether the person is a regular tax payer, his business or means of income, whether he has never had issues with security agencies on financial matters or any other bothering on crime, whether he has evidence as a job creator, whether he is more educated, whether the person is being sponsored with public fund or the personal income of the aspirant and above all tell Edo people what the person has done with his personal income before this time to show love or care to the people of Edo state.
Omorege a teacher wrote from Okada, Edo State.