President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday urged the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to seek ways of generating funds internally to free itself from the influence of money bags.
The President gave the advice in Abuja at a forum with the new members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Jonathan stressed that achieving financial autonomy would free the party from depending on donations from rich party members, who in turn, would influence its decisions in one way or the other.
``Members of the party must pay monthly contributions based on our guidelines.
``We must all work to create an avenue where the party will source for funding, so that if you are the chairman of the party, members of the working committee can manage the party without excessive influence of people.
``Even though we expect all money bags to be in PDP, but we don't want the money bags to influence the activities of the party,’’ he said.
According to the President, the party must come up with programmes that will make it financially self sustaining.
He said the forum was organised to welcome the new members of the NWC and to assure them of government's cooperation.
Jonathan pledged to always carry the party along in the running and implementation of government policies and programmes.
``My cabinet is totally committed and we will not come up with any major programme without involving the party.
"Both the Executive and Parliament members belong to political parties and political parties have manifestoes.
``Whether you are in the executive or parliamentary arm of government, we all belong to our party and we must project the agenda of the party.
``Therefore, before we come up with any major decision, we must present it to the party," he said.
The President urged the party leadership to feel free to request all cabinet members to brief them on the activities of the government.
He challenged the party not to shy away from its responsibility of giving direction to the government and the legislature, to enhance good governance in the country.
``This is PDP government, if it is going bad it is PDP government, if we are trying, it is PDP government, so PDP must be in charge," he said.
The president admonished the party to enforce discipline among members, irrespective of status, adding that the leadership must ensure that the party's guidelines were followed and implemented to the latter.
``No matter the office you are holding, the party must be in a position to discipline or admonish every member, even Mr president.
``In South Africa, the ANC can admonish the President because the party is superior’’.
In his goodwill message, the first National chairman of the party, Chief Solomon Lar urged the new leadership of the party to remain united and make patriotism their watchword.
Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Chairman, Convention Committee and the national Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, in their separate speeches, assured the President of their unflinching support.
Present at the forum were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, his deputy, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and former Speaker, Alhaji Ghali Na'aba.
Also in attendance were former PDP Chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor and other party chieftains, including Chief Tony Anenih and Alhaji Tanko Yakassai. (NAN)