A former governor of Cross River state and the founder of the Bridge Foundation’s Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship, Liyel Imoke, has advocated for mentorship of younger generation in order to prepare them for leadership position.
Imoke who stated this Wednesday while addressing 25 fellows of the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship in Abuja, noted that this will correct imbalance in the number of youths holding appointive and elective offices in the country.
Speaking on why he established the fellowship, Imoke said: “I saw a genuine desire in the young people to participate in governance. But at the same time, they are not equipped to fully participate. So that was why we started The Bridge Leadership Foundation.”
According to him, the foundation will continue to facilitate mentorship training for young Nigerians to venture into politics and make a difference.
Also speaking, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, charged political leaders to come together to tackle Nigeria’s challenges.
He said, “We have huge challenges today in our system. There is a lot to our democracy. There is a need for the political class to come together and ask good questions. Where are we getting to? Are we getting it right? If we are not, what do we need to do?
Mr Ihedioha urged the fellows to study their environment before jumping into contesting an election, adding that “Many are called a few are chosen, so consider yourself lucky. You have to work hard to get elected in Nigeria.”
On his part, a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, said the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu cannot be implemented because it contains a N17 trillion deficit.
Mr Tinubu had on Wednesday presented N27.5 trillion as a proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year to members of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Mr Suswam explained that the budget is made so because people without required leadership skills are in power.
The former governor, who lamented that the quality of representation in Nigeria is becoming poorer, instead of it going higher added that “Leadership needs some intellectual content. If you don’t have it, there is nothing that you can do about it.”
He stated: “I was looking at the budget, out of the whole money in that budget, the deficit is N17 trillion. Because you have N9 trillion of deficit, N8 trillion of debt service, then you have N2.7 trillion of tax expenditure, that is a waiver.
“So the entire money, the N27 trillion budget is not implementable. Do you know why we have that? Because we have people in leadership with no intellectual content.”