May 16, 201
A group of people who claim to have access to the presidency has been going round choice spots in Abuja saying they could make anyone minister for N100 million.
Already, the group has made contact with a number of people who have been told to submit their credentials with assigned individuals, who act as middle-men.
A woman who runs a highbrow eatery in the city, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she has been contracted to reach out to people with that kind of money, who at least have secondary school certificates and are not less than forty years old.
She said the whole matter is ‘hush-hush,' so she only approaches clients she could trust.
The middle-aged woman also said any client she introduced to the group would have to sit with her and sign a written agreement spelling out what he or she would do for her once the person becomes a minister.
A source who has been contacted by this woman said he was told that the N100 million must be given to the group up-front.
"She said as proof of their connections, I would be taken to Aso Rock where I would meet some of the president's men and satisfy myself that the whole thing is legitimate," he said
The man, who hails from Kano State, said "what makes her credible for me is that she won't take any money for arranging the appointment until everything works out. Besides, the fact is that I know the kind of circles she moves in."
A senior aide to the president was recently peeved when told by a retired Naval officer eager for ministerial appointment, that he was told to bring N500,000 before he could be introduced (to the aide.)
Our correspondent, who was with him at the villa during the discussion, said the aide told the officer to call back after the president returns from his Ugandan trip, but also requested for the name of the fellow who had asked for the bribe so that the person could be sanctioned.
"That is how it will spread that we now collect money to book appointments with the President," he said.
In Abuja, this kind of fraud, in which people with some access to political office holders collect money to link others up with their principal, is quite rampant.
It has become a thriving business for people who hang near the corridors of power, using their closeness to authorities to dispense favour for cash.
NEXT learnt that sometimes, even wives of these leaders are not averse to using the opportunity presented by their matrimony to make some money.
Attempts to speak to Ima Niboro, the president's spokesperson was unsuccessful. But another senior aide to the president, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Nigerians should be wary about who they hand money to while searching for public office.
"State chapters of the PDP and its national leaders have already compiled their lists to be sent to the president," he said. "People hanging about Abuja eateries paying for links to the president might just be setting themselves up to be duped."