Truth About Jedy's 2015 Governorship Aspiration

Prince Gody Jedy Agba

By Inyali Peter

Since the December 8 2014 controversial governorship primaries of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, different version of stories have emerged concerning what really transpired especially on the aspiration of Prince Goddy Jedy Agba. The public since then have been fed with lies or at best half trust over what truly happened.

One way Nigerian politicians have continued to incite the public especially the youths against each other or their perceived enemy is to constantly feed them with the information they want them to hear while concealing the true information. Most times, the information in public domain are only grey or black propaganda aimed at misrepresenting the true position of things.

Nigerian politicians will tell you what they want you to hear and make it seem like that is the truth and that's what you should hear. Because of our culture of always waiting to get every sensitive information in a platter of gold, not so many would have the commitment of embarking on a fact-finding mission.

This is exactly the scenario which has been playing out unabated on the aspiration and circumstances that surrounded the Jedy's race to the government house in the last election.

Unfortunately, many Cross Riverians have been made to erroneously believe that Jedy abandoned his supporters during the struggle. These lies were only concocted by politicians who don't want people to appreciate the courage Jedy showed in challenging the status quo in 2014. To them, the only way to 'deal' with the growing popularity of Jedy was to fill the public domain with misleading and maligning information about him.

Also, some have ignorantly accused him (Jedy) of betraying his supporters. Although this is very close to the accusation of abandonment but there's a thin line that separates the two. While abandonment has been taken from the angle that he pulled out of the race without calling to address his supporters, those who accused him of betrayal said he betrayed the course many Cross Riverians were fighting.

As appealing as this information may seem, the reality remains that people have been shaded away from knowing the truth. In fact, these stories were fabricated to malign him by politicians who wanted to build on his popularity to win elections. This is because not so many genuinely believed in the politics of challenging the status quo for anti-people policies and imposition like Jedy.

The truth which people don't want the public to hear is that Jedy didn't stepdown for anybody during the PDP primaries as erroneously insinuated.

When Jedy declared his interest to contest the governorship election, the then governor, Liyel Imoke shut the door of fairness and PDP on him. He was denied the nomination form in the state. Not many people know that Jedy was the first and only governorship aspirant till date that was forced to pick his governorship nomination form from the national headquarters of his then party, PDP.

After getting the form, the former PDP state Chairman, John Okon surprisingly said he was not a member of the party. The door of the state party Secretariat was perpetually locked against him because they said he wasn't a member of PDP. When he came to the state to declare his intention, he was treated by Imoke like he treated APC which was an opposition party.

The party and state government denied him facilities to use for his declaration cum welcoming ceremony. No party executive was willing to receive him. He was subjected to using a primary school field for his declaration and even the Principal of the school was sacked for granting him the open field for his function.

When he proved his membership of the PDP beyond reasonable doubt, the same man they said wasn't a party man was expelled with his supporters from the PDP. How can you expell somebody who is not even a member? This exemplified the double standard that PDP represented under Imoke and John Okon.

Being a man he is who doesn't give in to intimidation, he petitioned the national who overruled his expulsion.

After this, came the ward congresses for election of delegates for the PDP primaries. The first congresses which overwhelmingly favoured him and Sen. Ndoma-Egba were cancelled on the directives of the then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, following undue pressure from then Governor Liyel Imoke. The repeat congresses were a mere ceremony as Imoke had been given the free hand to pick those to conduct the exercise to his satisfaction. This resulted in Ndoma -Egba's group boycotting the exercise in the entire central senatorial district.

Imoke and PDP subjected Jedy, Ndoma-Egba and their supporters to embarrassment and humiliation that have never been associated with Cross River politics.

After the contentious PDP primaries, came the pressure from some quarters that he should defect to the Labour Party to contest the general election. This decision then, didn't go down well with some of his supporters who didn't see Labour Party as having the structure to win any election in the state.

To show that he appreciated efforts of some of his supporters, Jedy bought  nomination forms for almost everybody that wanted to contest under the platform of LP. At this stage, he also bought governorship form for himself.

Being the man he is who doesn't give in to desperation and aggression, Jedy decided to withdraw from contesting under LP when he saw clearly that the party hadn't the structure to win elections in the state and his supporters were divided.

When Fidelis Ugbo came calling for the LP form, he donated it to him free of charge! This  after spending 58 million for all the forms!

The outcome of the 2015 election which saw LP failing to win even a state house position has showed that he made the right decision. Even the popular Prince Bassey Otu was rigged out so there was no possibility that Imoke and his cohorts would have allowed a free and fair elections in the state.

It is pertinent to add that, Jedy doesn't give in to a do or die politics. One of his major objectives in the election was to ensure that the three senatorial district of the state had equitable opportunity to produce governor. This informed his decision to withdraw from the race after Senator Ben Ayade, his brother from the north and Obudu clinched the PDP ticket.

Why he worked for Ayade; as loyal party member and in spirit of sportsmanship, when he withdrew, he was invited by his party to be a part of Ayade's campaign which he obliged.

He was never a member of LP so the black propaganda against him that he abandoned or betrayed his supporters by not working for LP cannot be traced. If he had campaigned for LP, it would have amounted to antiparty activity which would have given credence to the initial lie that he was not part of the PDP.

However, no doubt, Jedy may have made some mistakes which is normal and natural as a human but with the complete absence of governance in the state, people should begin to look at other credible alternative from the north ahead of 2019. Cross River state politics should grow beyond the level where leaders are judged not by their credibility and antecedents but simple mistakes made.

As a state, we're into this messy situation because Imoke used the mistakes or political miscalculation of some people to rig out some aspirants within his party and even the general election. This error should not be allowed to repeat itself in 2019.

Imoke used his office to aggressively deny the north a free hand in the choice of who they preferred to represent them. Despite all these Jedy must be remembered for The heat which his aspirations brought on the system without which it remains an open secret that the hidden agenda to install Gershom Bassey as Imoke's successor would have been a fait acompli.
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