Mr. Godwin Jeddy-Agba, OFR, Group General Manager (Crude Oil Marketing Division) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is a frontline aspirant for the ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the gubernatorial race of Cross River State in the 2015 general election.
Though, the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) graduate of International Studies is yet to make a formal declaration about his aspiration, various groups and individuals have continued to queue behind him, with the strong conviction that he is the right man to take over the mantle of leadership of the state from Governor Liyel Imoke come 2015.
As an indigene of the state from Cross River North, where the governorship slot has been zoned to, his numerous supporters believe he is eminently qualified for the number-one seat, having contributed greatly to the advancement of the state via his human/community development activities as well as farming project.
Many have observed that Jeddy-Agba’s vast experience in the civil service and long period spent in a crucial organization like the NNPC would stand him in good stead in the prudent and efficient management of the state’s resources. It is equally believed that the position he currently holds in NNPC as the man in charge of the sales and marketing of crude oil and other key positions he has held in the past in other ministries have given him some sort of international exposure and connections. Such exposure and connections, analysts argued, will be of immense benefit to the people of Cross River if he is allowed to steer the ship of the state.
The first Deputy Chairman of PDP in Cross River State and former member of House of Representatives, Chief (Hon) Eden Ernest Irek is one of those who believe that Jeddy-Agba has all it takes to govern the state and move it to the next level.
In an interview with Politics Herald, Irek, a politician of high repute said to be one of the original thirteen conveners of PDP in Cross River State in 1998 stated: “I am happy that all the parties have come to reason with us that the North must produce the next governor of Cross River State come 2015… I have never hidden my support for most of the names being bandied from the North, Francis Bullem, Fidelis Ugbo, Larry Odey and Goddy Jeddy-Agba, but only one person will be governor. I believe amongst the field, Goddy Jeddy-Agba stands out. He has experience, he is mature, he has been supporting the party (PDP) and above all he has what it takes to get Cross River State out of its present financial doldrum and to the next level. I may not reel out all he has in his kitty but I must confess that having known this gentleman for more than thirty years now and knowing his track records of never failing in any assignment, he will definitely deliver.”
Jeddy-Agba’s governorship ambition got a greater boost when recently the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council rose from a meeting in Calabar, resolving to throw their weight behind the son of one of their own. The crude oil marketer is the first son of HRH Uti J.D. Agba, the paramount ruler of Obudu Area Council reputed to be the longest serving traditional ruler in Cross River State. He has been on the throne for over 50 years and he is a three-time chairman of the state traditional council.
In a unanimous resolution reportedly signed by the incumbent chairman of the traditional council, the King of Bakassi, Etiyen Okon Edet, the royal fathers noted that Jeddy-Agba would make a clear difference inthe administration of the state affairs. They seem to believe that the heir apparent if given the chance is in a better position to influence the federal government to find a lasting remedy to the pains and agony of the displaced Bakassi people. They also appear to have confidence in his ability to fight for the dredging of the Calabar River and revive the moribund Calabar Free Trade Zone, Calabar Port and the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort if he becomes governor in 2015.
There are, however, insinuations that Imoke, the Governor of the PDP controlled state is seemingly not well disposed to the candidature of Jeddy-Agba for the governorship contest in 2015. Though, the governor may have denied supporting any aspirant for the guber race, his group is believed to be behind the emergence of the Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, as the next governor.
Notwithstanding the alleged opposition of Imoke to the governorship ambition of the man who has endeared himself into the hearts of CrossRiverians and making serious waves across the state at the moment, fans of Jeddy-Agba are not losing sleep at all. For them, their man remains the most formidable and viable candidate whose influence cuts across the southern, central and northern senatorial districts of the state. They are confident that as long as a level playing ground is created by the party for the primary polls, Jeddy-Agba will certainly clinch the PDP governorship ticket with or without the backing of anybody who sees himself as the godfather in the state politics.
The governorship hopeful has been widely commended for his enormous contribution towards the fight against unemployment, with his large expanse of cassava farm at the Obudu Ranch road that has helped to create far over 2000 jobs for youths across the South-South zone.
This, perhaps, is the reason why his admirers are always quick to counter those who say he cannot be governor on the ground that he is a stranger in the state. It sounds completely preposterous to them that such cheap point could be used against a man whose huge investments in the state have made significant impact in the lives of the poor masses. It is also surprising to his adherents that Jeddy-Agba, the son of the longest serving traditional ruler in the whole of the state, who owns a house in Calabar the state capital, his local government headquarters and village can be so referred to as an outsider by some self-seeking politicians who do not mean well for Cross River State.
Asked in a media chat to comment on the supposed unfavorable posture of Imoke towards the candidacy of the accomplished civil servant and seasoned administrator, immediate past Commissioner for Environment in the state, Dr. Sandy Onor remarked: “The party draws its strength and legitimacy from the people. We believe that the overwhelming majority of Cross River people and the overwhelming majority of card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) want Jeddy-Agba to be the party’s candidate and so shall it be by the grace of God.”
According to Onor, who was among the seven Commissioners suspended indefinitely by Imoke last December, “We must know that if God places you in a position of authority, He does that for you to use it for the good of the society and not to spread hate. Cross River has always been a peaceful state and nothing should be done to truncate that peace. If we say we are serving the public and with a clear conscience, we should not go about it with desperation. Today, it is one person. Another person could be there tomorrow. Politics is a game of number and we should learn to agree with the majority.”
Born on August 20, 1958 in Obudu, Cross River State, Jeddy-Agba, a Master Degree Holder in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, commenced his career in the public service at the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) in 1984 as an Administrative officer. In the course of his career, he served as Personal Assistant to Ministers of FCT, Foreign Affairs and Petroleum Resources at different times during the military era. He was appointed a Special Assistant to one-time Minister of the Federal CapitalTerritory, Abuja, Air Vice Marshall Hamza Abduallahi during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in the early 1990s. In 1993, he joined the services of the NNPC as Head, Market Research in the Crude Oil Marketing Division where he rose through the rank to attain his present position.
Written By Michael Jegede
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