By Ogar Monday/Obeten Godfrey
A former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke has stated that he is nobody’s godfather as he has left the political scene for younger persons to take charge and therefore will not like to micro-manage anyone.
Imoke made this known while delivering a welcome speech at the 8th Annual Career Day of The Bridge Leadership Foundation held in Calabar International Convention Center (CICC), with the theme: “Youths And Good Governance: The Future We Want”.
The Elder Statesman said that, “Every year, young people crave for the career day for different reasons, 2019 is a year of squeezing and I will advise young person’s to do all within their legal means to squeeze out old politicians from the scene.”
He went on to maintain that, “I am nobody’s godfather. I might be a mentor but definitely not a godfather. I like being a player in the field like every other person and doing what is required to get my preferred candidate elected, but I will not sit down somewhere and micromanage that process.”
He further maintained that, “In the last two decades, youths across the globe and particularly Africa have been regarded and talked about as pillars upon which the advancement and development of the African continent depend.
“Our discussion today seeks to provide a framework for how the youths can actively get involved in the demand for good governance in a manner that ensures that the enabling environment for youths to thrive is created; Government becomes more strategic in integrating youths into policy and decision matters of nation building and together create a system where all relevant partners can work towards creating The Future We Want.
“I was a Senator at age 30 then became a Minister and a Governor. This didn’t happen by accident. My generation squeezed out the older generation at the time. I have since added my value and contributed my quota and I have decided that I won’t wait for the Onofiok Luke and John Gaul’s to squeeze me out, so I have decided to step back.”
The former Governor concluded by saying that: “Unfortunately most of my colleagues won’t willingly decide to step back. 2019 affords you that opportunity to squeeze them out. If we are really citizens, we will not be afraid of the future. Look beyond self and tribe, be an ordinary person who is aspiring to make a change and creating The Future We Want.”
Speaking earlier at the event, Co-founder/Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Patrick Cole while delivering his keynote address, said “Nigeria is suffering because it’s lacks selfless citizens who put others before themselves.”
According to him, “A cardinal principle of all great leaders is that before they make any decision, they must consider all sides before acting; and any decision they take, they stand by it.”
Cole advised the youths to weigh the consequences of their decisions before taking action, and urged them to take responsibility for same.
Other notable personalities that graced the event are the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo, his Akwa Ibom counterpart, Hon. Onofiok Luke, Cross River INEC REC, Frankland Briyai, Program Officer, Power & Participation, Ford Foundation, Paul Nwulu, Chief Executive CODE, Hamzat Lawal, Founder/CEO, Rise Networks,Toyosi Akerele, Founder/Executive Director, Spaces for Change, Victoria Ibezim and a host of others.
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