Ben Obi, National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, says if workers at the party’s secretariat in Abuja have not been paid for three years, the party cannot claim to be able to rule Nigeria.
Obi was speaking during Saturday’s PDP national convention where delegates are expected to elect new national executives of the party.
The convention, which is being aired live on various television stations, is taking place at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
“We have not paid our staff at the PDP secretariat for over three years. If we cannot do that, how can we claim to be able to lead Nigeria?” Obi said.
He said the convention came at the right time as a new National Working Committee (NWC) would bring about a smoother running of the administrative organ of the PDP.
Also speaking at the event, Ahmed Makarfi, PDP Caretaker Chairman, called for a one-minute silence in honour of Alex Ekwueme, one of the founding members of the PDP who died recently.
Makarfi reminded party faithful that the end to the myriad of court cases involving Ali Modu-Sheriff does not translate to an end to the numerous challenges facing the party.
“We took difficult decisions with a better PDP in mind,” he said. “We have laid a good foundation for the rebirth of the PDP, hence those who left are either coming back or knocking on our doors. Our doors remain wide open.
“In words and action, we must continue to reassure members that loyalty to the party pays. Our women have been blazing the trail in several endeavour.
“Youth must be factored in everything because sooner or later they will be taking over. They should be prepared for the task ahead by exposing them to leadership and its vagaries. Part of it is to ensure that they receive quality education.”
Makarfi advised that the PDP “should amend its constitution to make provision for students bursary loans”.
Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State and Chairman of the convention organising committee, assured the rest of the party that the committee would deliver the best elective process ever witnessed in the party.
He also urged all contestants to play by the rules.