Ribadu, el-Rufai under fresh security watch

Nigerian security agencies may have placed former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai under watch.

The two influential ex-public officers are currently abroad on self-exile. They are believed to shuttle between the United Kingdom and the United States .

Investigation by The Nation revealed that the Presidency is uncomfortable with their activities especially the alleged propaganda against the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

It was learnt that recent reports available to the government indicated that the two leaders in collaboration with some people and a few members of some security agencies had been allegedly blackmailing the government.

It was gathered that the influence of the two leaders in some security agencies informed the reshuffling of securitymen at the Presidential Villa some months ago.

A senior cabinet member, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said the government is wary of the utterances of Ribadu and el-Rufai.

He said: “Judging from the comments of some of these people, you do not need a soothsayer to know that they are out to blackmail this administration.

“But we are monitoring their activities wherever they are and we will give appropriate response to their propaganda. “Relevant security agencies are also on the alert to monitor their activities. We cannot allow them to continue to use international forum to run down this administration.

“We are monitoring their activities both at home and abroad. We know that they have collaborators here in the country.

“One thing is clear, the President is morally above board, they cannot accuse him of corruption.

“But the corporate integrity of Nigeria is more important to us. That is why as a government, we will do our best to respond to their blackmail.” The source also claimed that the utterances of the two former officers might be connected with 2011 politics.

“We learnt that their propaganda is also aimed at inciting hatred within and outside the country against the President but they won’t succeed. “This blackmail might also be part of the game plan for 2011 but the President believes it is God that gives power.”

The Nation