By Our Correspondent
Prince Goddy Jedy-Agba, who until his voluntary retirement in July this year, was the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing GGM, COMD at the NNPC, is the highest employer of labor in Cross River State outside government via his Agro-based consortium – Godilogo Farms. In this interview with select journalists, Agba, one of the strong contenders for the 2015 governorship position in Cross River State, bared his mind on why he wants to govern the state.
Why are you interested in governing Cross River State?
In the past seven years, Governor Liyel Imoke has been doing a good job governing our state but come May 29, 2015, he will hand over the baton of leadership as our con¬stitution demands. I want to be the recipient of the baton. This is not a decision I took lightly, but one that I arrived at after a careful and per¬sistent consideration as well as the need for a servant-leader, who places people over politics and service above all else. I took the decision to run for governor of our state on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after a great deal of thought. I consulted widely with my family, friends and close political associ¬ates in Cross River State and nationwide. I am running for governor because I believe I can add value to the governance of a state I love so much. My love for the state and its people knows no limit. I love the diversity, the can-do spirit, the communal life of neighbor-helping-neighbor of the people and I believe in what Cross River State can be. And my passion to serve compels me once again to stand for what is right for all Cross Riverians, to make Cross River State what it can be. I offer myself as a Cross Riverian, who is concerned about the widespread unemployment that is destroying the very fabric of our society.
What is your assessment of Liyel Imoke’s government so far?
I will say fantastic. Let me remind you that, in this democratic order, we started with the Donald Duke government and the Duke government could be described as a govern¬ment that has laid that irreversible foundation for growth and development in Cross River State. What we have witnessed right now with the present governor is that he has been able to consolidate and actualize the dream of the foundation of that growth and development. He has not faltered or wavered. He has been someone focused on the goals of the party and he has delivered. No matter what anybody has to say, he has performed.
What can you say about the rumor that governor Imoke is not disposed to you succeeding him?
Well, thank God you said it’s a rumor. I don’t dwell on rumors; neither do I interact with rumor mongers. I will answer in this form. Most people don’t even know how to assess relationships. They assess it from what they hear from rumor merchants and political jobbers. My people have an idiomatic way of expressing it, they say teeth and tongue fight but they are always still together. Though it is impossible for humans to exist without con¬flict, Governor Liyel and I do not have issues on any subject for that matter. Let us even look at the interest and future of our people and then situate our relationship within it. So, you mean if for whatever reasons, Governor Liyel does not just like my face, he will stop the good people of Cross River from benefitting from my wealth of experience? No. Not the Liyel that I know. He is a perfect gentleman and a man of honor and as far as I know him, he knows what is good for our state and we enjoy a very cordial relationship.
What makes you think that you will make a better successor for Imoke?
My belief is that before our party can decide on a person that will carry the flag of the PDP, it would have been unanimously agreed that such a person is sound and competent enough to be the candidate. Beyond that, I bring cognate experience that is not shared by any other aspirant in Cross River. I believe strongly that the years that I have worked and the experience that I have shared with the top management staff at the NNPC gives me that competitive edge to be able to continue to drive the vision of Cross River State. If it is in terms of character, if it is in terms of capability, I possess all the good qualities that you can find in anybody that will want to become the governor of Cross River State. It’s more about the people and it has to be a people person. I know that’s where my strength is. A people person is one that can be a good caretaker of the resources of the people. That’s why I see myself as the best aspirant that you can muster right now.
What is your vision for the people of Cross River State?
Like most Cross Riverians, I dream of a Cross River where those who want to work will find appropriate jobs and those who want to set up businesses can do so without bother¬ing about the infrastructure that will enable them to succeed. I dream of a Cross River where our youths can look at us with hope and we see them as worthy future leaders. I dream of a Cross River where our tomorrow will always be better than yesterday. I dream of a Cross River where, where you come from and the languages you speak do not matter. I dream of a Cross River where the interest of all is paramount and not those of the few. I dream of a Cross River where you do not have to know a big man before you get what you deserve. I dream of a Cross River of equal opportunity and no discrimination.
What is your greatest fear?
Fear? No. I have since conquered the fear of failure, which is the most common for most people. Only those who dare, stand the chance of climbing the ladder of success. I am not afraid of failure because I have used the strength of courage to succeed thus far and in this new calling, we are going to succeed. There are many of us in the race. We are all qualified. We are all good men and women who mean well for our state. But I can do a better job of transforming our state and taking it to the next level of development. I need the support of everyone in the party to make this happen. I also believe that my candidacy will ensure easy victory for our party in the governorship election and help our dear presi-dent, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan achieve a landslide victory in the presidential election with higher voter turnout in Cross River state than he achieved in 2011. The truth is that, I am ready to take up the unfinished business of building a Cross River state of our dream which began in 1999.
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