2019 Polls: Trump’s Lobbyist Agrees To Work For PDP

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By ‘Dotun Akintomide 

Less than 4 months to the general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is not leaving anything to chance, having engaged the services of top United States firm and lobbyist, Brian Ballard, to work with it for the successful emergence of its candidate, Atiku Abubakar as Nigeria’s president and boost the party’s fortunes among the Nigerian electorate.

The firm which lobbied for the current U.S President, Donald Trump, has a contract with the PDP on a monthly payment of $90 thousand Dollars (N31.5m), TheCable has reported.

It would be recalled that in 2014, AKPD Media and Messages, a top US firm that worked for former U.S President, Barrack Obama, as political strategists was also contracted by All Progressives Congress, APC, to wrestle power from the incumbent then, PDP, currently battling to return to the seat of power.

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The party will spend N400 million naira on the contract which is expected to last for one year.

Former minister of aviation, Osita Chidoka was said to have signed the contract on behalf of PDP, on September 21, 2018.

“This contract is entered into between the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (“the Client”), Plot l970 Michael Okpara Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, and Ballard Partners, Inc. (“the F irm”), 601 13th Street NW, Suite 450N, Washington, D. C. 20005,” the agreement read.

“This agreement shall automatically renew for successive one-year periods on the anniversary of the effective date of the agreement unless either party terminates the agreement. Upon renewal this agreement may be terminated within thirty (30) days written notice by either party.”

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According to the contract agreement, duties to be done for the PDP by the firm includes: Strengthening democratic values in Nigeria, maintaining secure conditions in Nigeria during elections among others.

“Duties of the firm. It shall be the Firm’s duty to consult with the Client and advocate on its behalf those issues the client deems necessary and appropriate before the US Federal government. Issues and objectives may include, but not be limited to, enhancement of US Nigerian relations; strengthening and advancing democratic values and the rule of law in Nigeria, with a special focus in the coming months on maintaining political and security conditions free of intimidation and interference in order to ensure the success and fairness of Nigeria’s national election for president in 2019. It shall further be the Firm’s duty to inform the Client of developments in legislation and policy relevant to the Client’s issues and objectives.

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“It shall be the Client’s duty to provide the Firm the information necessary to best represent the Client. It shall also be the Client’s duty to timely compensate the Firm for its services.

“Compensation. The Firm shall receive from the Client $90,000 a month, payable in quarterly installments for this agreement, plus the reasonable costs associated with the representation, including but not limited to, necessary registration fees; and travel expenses.”

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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