Former Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, has urged Nigerian youths to use their influence and negotiate their way into power come 2023.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark his 60th birthday and 10th anniversary of his foundation, Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF) on Saturday, Imoke said despite the influence the Nigerian youths commanded both in and outside social media, they have not been able to maximise such influence to break into what he described as the ‘boardroom’ to provide a ground for them to influence policies.
He identified the failure of the youths to set out their objectives before going into politics as one of the reasons they have been constantly sidelined by the current generation of leaders in the country.
Imoke explained that social media seemed to be the place, where youths believed they had influence, noting that it was not enough, as governments across Africa have a certain influence over the operation of social media.
He maintained that the current crop of leaders in the country are not ready to shift unless the youths break their ways in and are actively involved in politics.
Meanwhile, he explained that as 2023 is around the corner, it provides the youths the opportunity to get into the business of political leadership, noting that the youths must be audacious to make the change they want.
He said, “It is not enough to be a member of an organisation but also to be a member of the board, because that is where things happen, unless you are on the board, you will remain where you are.
“Whenever you think you have such a power of influence for any activity, it must be for a purpose. It must be towards an objective. And until you become part of that decision-making process, your effort will remain just an effort.
“Next time, before you finish your influences, make sure you negotiate your way into the boardroom. When you get to the boardroom, there you can influence policies. Until you get into the boardroom, you can never influence change! You can make all the noise, you can have all the activity, you can have all the followers, but, you will not change the policy.
“This is the time for a new generation to get into the boardroom, it is time for a new generation to appreciate the importance of being audacious. No one, not any one of us in front, or anyone there is going to shift! No one is going to shift by you saying, please make space for me, I am young, it is my time.
“Nobody gave me space. At 30, nobody gave me space. It was hard work. But, the good fortune was that I wanted to be in the boardroom. The generation that we are talking to, 2023 provides you with an opportunity to be in the boardroom, provides you with an opportunity to take control and to take charge. But, it’s a lot of work. Are you ready to deliver? Are you ready to do what it takes?”
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...