Emerging reports says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hired Brian Ballard, a top US lobbyist, ahead of the 2019 elections. According to The Cable, the influential lobbyist has President Donald Trump as one of his clients.
The report quoted Politico Magazine, a top publication in the US, as saying Ballard is closer to the US president than perhaps any other lobbyist in town.
“He’s parlayed that relationship into a booming business helping clients get their way with the Trump administration — and his clients and even some of his rivals say his firm has a better grasp of what’s going on in the West Wing than almost anyone else”
“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 report further said Nigeria’s main opposition party has agreed to pay $90,000 (N31.5m) to Ballard on a monthly basis throughout the duration of the contract. The contract which was signed on September 21, 2018, is for a year, meaning Ballard would rake in close to N400 million from the deal.
The agreement reads in part
“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.
“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 installments for this agreement, plus the reasonable costs associated with the representation, including but not limited to, necessary registration fees; and travel expenses.”
The pact was signed by Osita Chidoka, a former minister of aviation, on behalf of the PDP.