As the Presidency promises immediate action on the Ribadu Panel report when submitted, there are indications that President Goodluck Jonathan has shunned attempts by some marketers to meet him even he was said to have warned his aides against dealing with the indicted marketers.
The president, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo had openly declared during the public presentation of a book, "Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria" written by Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that "government is taking every legal measure to ensure that those who defraud the government in the petroleum subsidy scheme are made to pay back the stolen fund and also are severely punished."
THISDAY checks revealed that the marketers have adopted several strategies in response to the renewed war against corruption in the subsidy regime.
The first key strategy is to reach people in government who they consider allies to assist them in sabotaging government's efforts to prosecute them and compel them to recover funds which were obtained fraudulently.
This strategy, it was gathered, is not working because of the signals from the Presidential Villa against corruption.
Sensing that this plan is not making progress, the kingpin of the marketers who has been described as the "poster boy of corruption in subsidy" has also adopted the strategy of personalising the fight by launching vicious attacks on members of the Presidential committee that originally identified and detailed the fraud as it affects individual marketers.
Interestingly, sources within the security agencies said that the kingpin who was recently obtained bail after several days in detention could not provide any defence when he was confronted with evidence of fraud by his companies running into several billions in fake claims for payments.
Feelers from the administration indicated that in the last one week ,indicted marketers have been making desperate attempts to meet the president without success while their moves to link up with some presidential aides have met brick wall.
The president was said to have at a point warned his close aides to avoid the company of the marketers as well desist from making any attempt to raise their case with him as the matter is now subjudiced and in public domain.
The development was reported to be responsible for the open declaration of war on subsidy scammers by the president at the launch of the book authored by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy titled "Reforming the Unreformable."
"The matter is forcing the marketers to become desperate and we are expecting various types of attacks in the next few days. But we are happy that Nigerians are with us on this count," a very dependable source in government said.
It was reliably gathered that the marketers worried by the president's posture on the matter, have started to direct their firepower at the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee.
A member of the committee who spoke to THISDAY on account of anonymity, said" "the issue is not about media campaign as we know that the police even authenticated our reports because the marketers when questioned could not disprove the allegations against them.
"Our report is watertight. What we put down against them was so specific and clear. That is why their campaign to discredit our report is not achieving any success," the source said.