The Cable newspaper has reported exclusively that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hired Brian Ballard, a top US lobbyist associated with the inner circle of US President, Donald Trump to help plan strategy ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to the newspaper which quoted a top political magazine in the US, Politico Magazine, Brian Ballard is closer to the US president than any other lobbyist in Washington.
According to the magazine’s profiling of Brian Ballard;
“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,” the magazine said in a report.
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.”
According to the Cable, PDP agreed to pay $90,000 (about N31.5m) to Ballard per month for the duration of the contract which is to last one year.
The contract was signed on September 21, 2018 ensuring that the lobbyist would make about N400 million from the deal in one year.
Read the full contract terms below;
“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.
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 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 agreement was reportedly signed on behalf of the PDP by the former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka.