Ifeanyi Ubah, Chairman of Capital Oil, has kickstarted his campaign to emerge as the flagbearer of the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.
But the businessman is yet to pay workers’ salary, some upward of 6 months.
Some of his workers, lamented how they have been struggling to survive.
One of them, who spoke from Anambra on condition of anonymity, said he and his colleagues have been living from hand to mouth.
“We are suffering and now chairman wants to contest again. It was only recently he paid security men at the stadium under construction two months salary, cleaners two months, footballers two months and bouncers one month”.
“But me and others in my category have not got any payment since January. It’s a pathetic situation, we have borrowed money several times from family and friends so much that they now avoid us,” a staff told our correspondent.
“A woman came with her four children from their home state to Anambra because our colleague had no money to send to them. She thought he was lying and was always shouting at him over the phone.
“In fact, the husband would give us the phone to explain our situation to her. When she came and saw things, she was crying daily. They got stranded, nothing to eat. They were here for weeks before they managed to raise money to go back.”
Asked if there has been any word or assurance from Ubah on the salary arrears, the staff said: “We go gist that chairman said since we endured till this day and did not die, we should give him more time but he’s already spending money on politics”.
“People are scared to come out and protest because they will be victimised. Please help us get the message out, we believe the company management will act since we are now crying through the media”.
Ubah returned to Nigeria late July after sojourn abroad following a six-week detention in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Ubah was arrested and detained by DSS on May 5, 2017, for alleged engagement in acts of economic sabotage which include stealing, diversion and illegal sale of petroleum products stored in his tank farm (in Lagos) by the NNPC.
Ubah contested for the 2013 Anambra governorship election. He ran on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) and lost to Governor Willie Obiano of APGA.
For the next election, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed November 18 for the conduct of the exercise.
On Thursday in Abuja, the PDP began the screening of seven members who have indicated interest.
Chairman of the Screening Committee, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, pledged that the committee would do a thorough and fair job.
Aside Ubah, others screened were Senator Stella Oduah, former Minister of Aviation; Mr Oseloka Obaze, former Secretary of Anambra State; Dr Alex Obiogolu, Mr John Emeka, Akolisa Ufodike and Lynda Ikpeazu.
The PDP has scheduled its primary election for August 19.