Monday, 29 July 2019

JD Agba's ministerial appointment: A call for unity

29 July 2019 

On July 23 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari transmitted a list of 43 ministerial nominees to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation as Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. According to Federal Character Commission, each state is represented by atleast one Minister; although some states have two.

For Cross River State, the name of Prince Goddy Jeddy Agba was inclusive in the ministerial list. JD Agba is from Obudu local government area of Cross River State. As a worthy son of Cross River State, he worked with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, where he grew to the rank of Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Corporation with a diverse wealth of expertise and experience in the oil sector management, development, research and planning.

Upon his retirement in 2015, JD Agba gave a shot at the governorship contest in the state under the PDP, but was scuttled out by strong power brokers in the state. In fact, his appearance at the governorship race in 2015 was supported by many Crossriverians, although he lost out eventually.

Few years later, he defected to the rulling APC to further pursue his political career. His emergence as a ministerial nominee came as a surprise to almost all Crossriverians and his party members in the state. 

From home and abroad, the likes of the APC gubernatorial candidate in the state, Senator John Owan Enoh and the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade and other notable political, traditional and youth leaders have all congratulated the oil guru on his appointment.

But sadly, a group of persons from the state has chosen to weigh a malicious campaign against him, dragging his name to the mud and giving him a 'media trial' before his boss, President Buhari of alleged corruption allegations.

For how long will this malicious campaign last? Notably enough, JD Agba is from Cross River State, he will be screened and confirmed as a Minister representing Cross River State. He will sit with others at the Federal Executive Council with Mr President to decide the affairs of this great nation.

Nigerians, including the Senate, are interested in facts and not fictions. As long as the allegations remain unsubstantiated, I urge the Senate to discountenance them and proceed to screen and confirm Mr. Goddy Jeddy-Agba as a fit and proper person to step into the position of minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr. Jeddy-Agba's nomination is, thus, the clearest indication yet that no security reports and outcomes of any quiet investigations, whether now or in the past, have indicted him of being complicit in any shady deal while he worked for the NNPC.

The masterminds of the reports should have known that the Presidency and the security agencies must have taken the nomination of Mr. Goddy Jeddy-Agba through due diligence checks before forwarding his name as President Muhammadu Buhari's minister-nominee to the Senate for screening and confirmation hearing

At this point, we can only wish him well and the best of service to his fatherland. Some group of persons are jittery and panicking over his appointment, hence the planting of blackmail and malicious seeds in all corners, but this one too will pass away.

Our prayers for him should be that he is given a juicy ministry that will attract development to the state and employment opportunities for our young graduates, acquisition of skills for our artisans and lots more. It is our hope that his emergence will add value and prosperity to any ministry he is assigned to deliver service.

At times, we should be courageous and constructive rather than destructive. Fingers have been pointing to the direction from where the hate campaign is coming from but, I guess the initiator of such malicious campaign is rather too late on the game. 

From which ever angle we may look at it; JD Agba's name CAN NEVER be withdrawn from the list. He will definitely be screened today and God willing, he will be inaugurated alongside 42 others to constitute the Federal Cabinet of Mr President.

Finally, at this point, we can only wish him well, good health and the best of luck. For what God has ordained, no man should tear apart.

Congratulations JD Agba.

George Odok Jnr is a NAN correspondent, writes from Calabar, Nigeria 

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