Ex-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.”