- Jonathan’s ex-aides on hit list
Ahead of the May 2016 congresses and national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, there are strong indications that extortionists and blackmailers are now targeting high profile members of the party.
Investigations revealed that the extortionists and blackmailers have been approaching chieftains of the PDP with demands for huge sums of money and threat of writing frivolous petitions against them to anti-graft agencies if they fail to pay up.
It was gathered that former political office holders, including former aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who are perceived to be wealthy, are the primary targets of the extortionists.
According to the findings, the conmen are capitalizing on the focus of the Buhari administration on PDP members in the anti-graft war to blackmail them and when they fail to pay up petitions are circulated to rubbish them.
Findings also revealed that some members of the PDP are aiding some of the conmen as they collude with them to tarnish the reputation of some members of the party, especially former political office holders that may be interested in contesting for positions in the forthcoming convention and 2019 primaries of the party.
According to an insider in one of the security agencies, there is a particular case of some extortionists from one of the North East states who approached a former aide of President Jonathan to extort money from him but when they hit a brick wall they sent in petition to one of the anti-graft agencies.
Investigation revealed that the North East conmen, who are lodged in one of the hotels in Abuja, is working hand in glove with one of the outgoing PDP deputy national officer (name withheld) from the zone.
The PDP deputy national officer is said to be a middleman between the conmen and an incumbent high profile member of the party from the zone who is using the criminals to advance his political aspiration.
Unfortunately, when the anti-graft agencies wades into some of the petitions by the extortionists, there is a wrong perception of where the missile is coming from as fingers continue to point in the direction of the Buhari administration.
A chieftain of PDP who craved for anonymity said they are aware of some of those behind attempt to extort money from high profile former political office holders and the campaign of calumny against those that failed to meet their demands.
“We know part of the plot is to rubbish those that may contest during the forthcoming national convention and for PDP ticket for elective offices in 2019.
“We have very strong evidence against them and we are using this opportunity to warn them to stop their nefarious activities forthwith or else we shall expose them, including the deputy national officer from the North East that is working with the extortionists,” he said.
According to him, at least four prominent officials of the former administration including one former minister are known have been approached but it is not clear whether any of them has succumbed to the threats.
“They are trying to blackmail us because they think we have stolen money and we are afraid of going to EFCC but it is pure politics that will not achieve anything,” a PDP chieftain said at the weekend.
The source said he did not directly obtain money from the past administration either by cash or bank transfer into his account and therefore he has nothing to fear.
Among those they have contacted for money with threat of petition is former Special Adviser to the president on Political Matters, Prof. Rufai Alkali.
A source close to the former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP confirmed that he had been approached by certain people threatening to expose him to the EFCC if he does not give them an unspecified amount of money.
According to the source, “once they believe that you are a threat to their ambition, they become jittery and devise all sorts of means to tarnish you.
“The national convention is around the corner. In order to pave way for themselves or their favoured candidates, they have to do something to checkmate you.
“But we are not going to wait until they drag us into the mud. We will fight back,” the source declared without saying how. When contacted Alkali declined comment.