Prince Goddy Jedy-Agba, a frontline contender in the governorship race in Cross River State, recently spoke to select journalists on some of the burning issues in the build-up to the primaries to produce the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the state. SAMSON EZEA was there.
Given your background and accomplishments what informed your decision to seek to govern Cross River State?
A lot of reasons could be adduced for my ambition. But I tell you today that my ambition is tied to my destiny. I say my destiny because I was born to be a catalyst. So in essence my decision is based on rendering service to my people and nothing more. More so, I would say I have been a beneficiary of the benevolence of the Almighty God in all spheres of my life. And the best I can do to return gratitude to God is to continue to render services to the benefit of mankind, hence my decision to put myself up for service.
What is your position on the principle of rotation among the senatorial districts in the state?
My position is in tandem with that of the leadership of our party in Cross River and that of the state Governor Liyel Imoke. You don’t expect me to have a contrary opinion. The Party as well as the leaders in the state have said that it is the turn of the Northern Senatorial District and I believe the governor who is the leader of the party meant what he said given his pedigree and his distaste for people that speak from both sides of the mouth. I also know him as a proponent of equity and fairness. Having said that, when you take a cursory look at the state as a whole vis-à-vis the political patronage or relevance amongst the various senatorial districts you would realize that the northern zone had been the least patronized. This is not a coincidence, but rather the disposition of we northerners when it comes to issues that concern the state. Our approach has and still remains in the best interest of the state. But however, that best interest of the state should reflect some level of balance. What I am saying in essence is that the position of the governor is very intact and a clear testimony that he is indeed a visionary leader. It is the turn of the northern zone to produce the next governor of the state and I strongly believe that all well-meaning people of the state will respect and appreciate the governor for it.
What about other aspirants from other senatorial zones?
Well, we are in a democracy and we all have the right to express ourselves. But in doing so, common sense and respect for others should be the watchword.
What are your views on ‘the three musketeers” in the state; Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke and Gershom Bassey and the pact between them with regards to governing the state?
That is interesting; you are just bringing to my knowledge the existence of such. I think we should not be discussing that because these persons you just mentioned are well-respected sons of the state. They are very enlightened and educated. Though I am not aware of the existence of such pact and if at all there is or was, what sense does it make in a heterogeneous state like ours? Mind you all you have been hearing about Gershom Bassey are mere speculations. He hasn’t come out to say he is contesting to the best of my knowledge and I am not sure he has any such ambition. Even if he has, the governor won’t be a part of it because he has said it in many fora that Cross River North will produce the next governor of the state. And the last time I checked, Gershom Bassey is from the same South with former Governor Donald Duke.
There are also speculations that Governor Liyel Imoke may not be sincere on which zone will produce the next governor?
And why would you assume that? You see people should stop assumptions because it’s very dangerous to assume. As for me I have no doubt whatsoever about the sincerity of Governor Imoke. He is a very refined gentleman. I wish people could come to terms with this reality. This is a reality that has come to stay.
What if the Governor Imoke decides to eat his words and support Gershom Bassey or any other person from the Central or South, what would be your reaction?
Let’s not go there. I really do not see that happening because I know him too well to be a man of unquestionable character and he is very upright.
What are your chances in clinching the PDP ticket?
Like everybody else, I would say very bright.
What are your plans and vision for the state if elected?
My first aim is to create a functioning democratic system owned by the people of the state; a system where government derives from the people, is controlled by them and therefore accountable to them. I want to create a model state, where unemployment is near zero level and more importantly, where we create enough wealth such that the government has enough of its own money to meet its daily obligations and does not need to rely on what comes from the Federation Account to survive. The standards set by former Governor Donald Duke, and the actualization of that dream by Imoke has to be taken to another level to ensure continuity. To crown it all, I want to make Cross Riverians the center of our government and genuine agents of development. My concern is to uplift every Cross Riverian such that, he or she sees himself or herself as the only agent of change. I want to elevate the place of human beings in our society such that everybody in the state can see himself /herself as the core of society and driver of development. I want to see their empowerment, uplift and progress.
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