Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke on Thursday offered explanatons on his decision not to seek any elective office in 2015.
Speaking at a public lecture organised by Destiny Group to mark his 53rd birthday at the Cultural Centre, Calabar, Imoke said only leaders who feel insecure and looking for where to hide after leaving office would think of the next elective office while they are still in their current position.
“As the end of my term as governor continues to count, I look forward to it with joy and satisfaction. I will leave with peace and utmost satisfaction. A lot of people keep asking me, ‘Oga, are you not going to contest for an election when you leave as governor?’ I tell them that I will leave office with so much peace and satisfaction that I will not contemplate running for another office. It is only those who are insecure and are looking for where to hide that plot for the next office even when they are yet to serve out their current term, ” he stated.
Stressing the need for leaders to build a new generation of leaders, the Governor said: “I strongly believe that as leaders, if there is one thing we must do as a matter of deliberate policy, it is to build a new generation of leaders. If we keep moving from or running in one office to the other without creating opportunities for a younger or a new generation, then society will never evolve and there will be no purposeful leadership.”
Imoke who re-echoed the decision of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone the governorship seat in the 2015 election to the Northern Senatorial district, charged the people to look for someone who will give them purposeful leadership.
“As we collectively look for our new governor from the Northern Senatorial District, we must do so in the hope that he or she will give us purposeful leadership and development.”
Delivering a lecture entitled: “Leadership. Democracy and development”, Guest Lecturer, Professor Jerry Gana lauded Governor Imoke for setting a benchmark and providing a template for good governance, democratic ethos and dividends of democracy, just as he urged other states to emulate the governor’s examples.
While urging leaders to demonstrate courage, even in the face of adversity, Prof. Gana said it was due largely to Imoke’s courage, focus and passion that Cross River State has today become investors’ haven.
His words: “Due to the intricacies of Nigerian politics, the state lost substantial part of its territory, Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroun. The attendant consequence was the loss of its 76 oil wells to a neighbouring state. This in turn also affected its revenue earning from the federation account. The state faced the biggest challenge since its creation. Nevertheless, owing to Imoke’s courage and determination, the state arose out of the ashes of the conspiracy against it, and became a shining light to others. With a federal allocation hovering between N2 billion and N3 billion, nobody gave the state a chance of still surviving today. But it bounced back, thanks to Imoke’s tenacity of purpose.”
Gana said at a time, the state was buffeted by daunting challenges and it needed only someone like Imoke to get it out of the woods. “It could only have been Imoke with the right leadership, hunger and level headedness to have been able to surmount the odds then. His courage is enviable. His determination is uncanny. His focus and energy is unparalled. Fortunately, your state found that messiah in Liyel Imoke. ”