THE MAN GODDY JEDY-AGBA, OFR, @ 60. – IFERE PAUL

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Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, is an author, bureaucrat, a politician, a philanthropist, and a farmer.

Goddy Jedy-Agba was born on the 20th of August, 1958 in Obudu, Cross River State. He obtained his first Degree in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria in 1983. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, Akoka in 1989.

In his novel, “Stepping Forward with Uti J.D Agba” published by Bookman publishers, Goddy Jedy-Agba captures his story while growing up while looking up to his father in shaping his life. Who and what he has become today is a product of a very long plan.

As a bureaucrat, Goddy started his federal civil service work as Assistant Secretary II with the office of the head of service, federal secretariat Ikoyi in September 1984. By October 1984, he was posted to the department of health services, federal capital territory, Garki, Abuja, as assistance secretary II. In October 1985, he was reposted back to Lagos as a senior assistant secretary to the federal development authority, Lagos Liaison Office where he worked for two years. By the end of October 1987, Goddy Jedy-Agba was promoted as the deputy liaison officer, federal capital development authority, Lagos Liaison Office, Lagos State. He worked under this capacity till April, 1989, when he was carefully selected as the personal assistant to the honorable minister of special duties under the presidency, state house-Lagos. He was later selected, in December, 1990 to serve as the personal assistant to the honorable minister of state for foreign affairs, ministry of foreign affairs, Abuja. A position he occupied until January, 1993, when he was again, selected to serve as the personal assistant, honorable secretary of state, ministry of petroleum mineral resources, federal secretariat, Ikoyi. In November 1993, he became the head market research, crude oil marketing department, NNPC. He remained at that position until in 1995 when he was appointd the head gas/gas liquids/condensate sales, GGLU Crude Oil Marketing Department, NNPC.

Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba retired voluntarily from the NNPC to pursue a career in the murky waters of politics. He attained the position of Group General Manager (GGM), Crude Oil Marketing Division (OMD), NNPC. He is the first from south-south to attain the position of GGM, Crude Oil Marketing in the NNPC.

In September, 2012, he was awarded and decorated with a National Honor in the rank of OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC, (OFR).

Jedy-Agba retired from active service at the NNPC to join the governorship race in 2014. When it was obviously the turn of Cross River North to lead the state. But his ambition would be truncated by some powerful forces in government under the PDP in the guise that the north had no suitable candidate to present as governor. Goddy Jedy-Agba retired even though he had 3 more years in service, and offered himself as a sacrificial lamb to serve his people.

By the time he decided to contest the election, the political calculations to deny the north the chance of governing Cross River State was abandoned. Instead, the powers that be, started scheming to bring someone else from the same north. Be that as it was, Goddy Jedy-Agba was caught with what he referred to as a health scare. This made him stepped aside from one of the most pronounced campaigns in the history of Cross River State. He eventually issued a press release withdrawing from the elections against the wishes of his teeming supporters.

The fact remained that without the entrance of Goddy Jedy-Agba in the governorship race, perhaps, those who have laid siege on the progress of Cross River State would have taken the governorship to southern Cross River. Even though he almost lost his life in the process, he is however fulfilled that the north got a chance to lead the State.

It is a miracle that Goddy Jedy-Agba came out from the cold to tell his story in the book “Stepping Forward with Uti J.D.Agba”, co-authored with Mathias Okoi-Uyouyo.

Goddy Jedy-Agba is a philanthropist of the highest order. He has touched so many lives. It is uncharacteristic of him to tell others of what he has done for humanity. There is always a cluster of helpless people trooping to his office for one kind of help or another. He derives pleasure in solving people’s problems. Goddy Jedy-Agba has provided scholarship to so many Cross Riverians in different institutions in Nigeria and abroad. He has trained people in different spheres of endeavors, and has placed a lot of young talents in different jobs in Nigeria.

He is one of the prosperous business magnets from Cross River State who doesn’t depend on government money to survive. He does not joke with his businesses. He loves farming and produces everything he eats, and owns one of the largest farms in Cross River State.

Jedy-Agba is one of the major employers of labor in Cross River State, especially through his Godilogo Farms Limited which was incorporated on the 19th July, 2004, but which commenced commercial operations in early 2005.

The farm at onset was established as an integrated commercial farm with a medium-term plan of setting up facilities for the processing of cassava roots into industrial intermediates like High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF), industrial grade starch, and other derivatives such as glucose, fructose syrups, etc. However, it diversified into rice cultivation and processing to take advantage of the very large market for edible rice south and east of the River Niger.

The Gogilogo Farm employs over 6000 local farmers in its out growers program alone. This helps to put food on the table of local farmers and their households. The farm also distributes free medicines and other provisions to raise the standard of living among farmers, while ensuring that living quarters of these critical employees are kept clean and hygienic.

Apart from keeping a farm for the production of cassava, rice, yam flour, garri, starch, etc, Jedy-Agba also rears cattle. He refers to himself as a herdsman. His cattle farm produces fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and other dairy products.

His book has received so many accolades. The following are excerpts:

“Stepping Forward with Uti J. D. Agba is the autobiography of Cross River State born administrator, farmer and politician, Goddy Jedy Agba. It is written in collaboration with Mathias Okoi-Uyouyo. Goddy Jedy Agba is the son of Uti J. D. Agba, Paramount Ruler of Obudu.

The nine-chapter book is a well researchd, brilliantly written and inspiring story. It is a gaze into Goddy Jedy Agba’s past history, background and antecedent. It is also an anthropological expose of the Utugwang ethnic group and its monarchy; as well as the politics of the First Republic, especially in the Eastern Region. Uti J. D. Agba, Goddy Jedy Agba’s father, then Chief the hon. J. D. Agba was a member representing Obudu Division in the Eastern Region House of Chiefs. Of all the members of the House of Chiefs in that era: Northern, Western and Eastern, Uti J. D. Agba is the only surviving member.

“Good people of Sankwala, with love and gratitude”, Stepping Forward with Uti J. D. Agba is a journey into the life and philosophy of Goddy Jedy Agba. A life filled with gratitude to God and to men; a life embedded in realism; a life that have faced life-threatening vicissitudes and challenges that have all helped in defining and shaping his humanity” …….as published in TheMetro Lawyer by Sebastine Eko.

“A researched, brilliantly written and inspiring story.” …Nigeria Chronicle

“Stepping Forward with Uti J.D.Agba is an autobiography of high order, intended to sustain the reader’s interest, remain true to the historical evidence, and deliver a message, all at the same time… The of the book to be too rich, too sensitive, and too warmly nostalgic, is offset by the unrelenting accuracy of its language. Goddy Jedy-Agba and Mathias Okoi-Uyouyo have written one of the finest portraits of the politician as a biographer that the English language has ever known.” …The Authority

“It’s not a simple story of the like ‘father, like son’, but a filtered narration of progenies powered by predecessors and ascending to the heights of challenges’ and endeavors.” …Professor Kalu Uka

“Stepping Forward with Uti J.D. Agba is an autobiography, rich in history, culture and good diction.’ …… Leadership

At 60, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba has accomplished many of his heart’s desire. He is an “Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. He is happily married to Beatrice Jedy-Agba, OON, with several children.

As 2019 approaches, the people of Cross River State are looking keenly at Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, whether or not he will declare any intents in once again, to contest the Cross River State governorship seat.

Until then, I want to use this medium to send sixty hearty cheers to Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, on his Sixtieth Birthday Celebration.

Congratulation to you, Sir.

Ifere Paul.

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