Kenneth Imasuangbon, lawyer and educationist, has emerged the first aspirant in Edo State to pick a governorship nomination form to contest for the number one elective office in the state. Imasuangbon, an aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who would be slugging it out with four other aspirants who have openly declared their interests, vowed to resist any attempt at imposition of a candidate by leaders of the party. Other contenders are Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a second-term member of the House of Representatives, Gideon Ikhine, an engineer and businessman, and Faluyi Isibor. He paid N20 million for the nomination form, and N1 million for expression of interest.
Imasuangbon, after picking the form said to have been facilitated by some youths in the party, expressed confidence that he would clinch the party’s ticket, and ultimately, the September 19 governorship poll. He appreciated the donors who had contributed over N50m towards his bid to rescue the state from the grip of the APC-led government in the state.
Popularly called the ‘Rice Man’, Imasuangbon who is currently in the United States of America, said the PDP national leadership of the party is interested in a free and fair primary in Edo “but some leaders in the state are bent on circumventing the process”. He said the raising of over N50m by ordinary citizens for him to purchase a nomination form was an indication that the PDP wanted a popular candidate that can not only challenge APC candidate but would win the governorship election.
According proprietor of the Pace Setters Group of Schools, Abuja, “Even though I am far away in the United States, what it means is that Edo youths want the state to be better. They know that only a popular candidate can win election in Edo and my advice to the Edo PDP is that those who want to impose a candidate will be resisted. Such a candidate will not be accepted. I thank the youth for the contribution. I was informed that over N10m have been raised even though I have enough to purchase the form, I am really humbled by their gesture.
“The kind of gesture is unbelievable. It shows the youths and people of Edo state love democracy; therefore, the will of the people should prevail. I am coming back to participate in the primaries. I told you I was purchasing my nomination and expression of interest forms this week and I have made good my promise even while I am still here in the United States. But I can assure my teeming supporters that I will be home soon as I have concluded plans to return”.