2019 Elections: PDP Hires Trump’s Lobbyist For Campaign

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hired the firm of Brian Ballard, a top United States lobbyist, for the 2019 general election campaign.

CKN News understands that Brian Ballard, who has US President Donald Trump as one of his clients, agreed a deal worth $90,000 (N31.5m) with the party.

It was learned that Ballard Partners Inc would be paid this amount on a monthly basis throughout the duration of the contract.

A top publication in the US Politico Magazine says Ballard is closer to Trump than perhaps any other lobbyist in town.

“Ballard was one of the top fundraisers in the country for Trump’s campaign and continues to raise millions for his reelection campaign. Wiles, one of his top lieutenants, ran Trump’s campaign in Florida and delivered the nation’s biggest swing state to the president,” the magazine said in a report.

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And according to a report by TheCable, Ballard would rake in close to N400 million from the one year contract which was signed on 21 September, 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 Firm”), 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.

“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 with 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 instalments for this agreement, plus the reasonable costs associated with the representation, including but not limited to, necessary registration fees; and travel expenses.”

A former minister of aviation and special adviser on Strategy and External Engagements to PDP Chairman, Osita Chidoka, signed the contract on behalf of the PDP.

The development is coming two weeks after the presidential candidate of the opposition party, Atiku Abubakar, led PDP stalwarts to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, for a strategy meeting.
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