Boko Haram Kidnappings: Nigeria Hires DC PR Firm For Over $1.2m To Help Launder Image
… As NSA Hires PR Firm For $3m P/A
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 26, (THEWILL) - The President Goodluck Jonathan administration has hired a Washington DC based public relations and lobbying firm to help launder the nation's image following the unending episodes of kidnappings orchestrated mostly in northern Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
According to The Hill, a DC based news website, the Jonathan government signed a contract worth over $1.2 million (N200 million) with Levick, a prominent PR and lobbying firm in Washington, in an effort to change the 'the international and local media narrative' surrounding Nigeria's 'efforts to find and safely return the girls abducted by the terrorist organization Boko Haram,' according to a contract document signed on June 13, 2014.
The move is coming barely 10 months after the National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, hired Patton Boggs LLP, for a whooping $3 million (N501 million) per annum retainer for a 'comprehensive security/defense advise, to include pursuing potential donation by the U.S. Government to the Government of Nigeria excess military and law enforcement equipment,' according to contract documents sourced by a California based advocate and scholar, Dr. Baba Adam.
According to contract papers seen by THEWILL, Patton Boggs LLP had advised the NSA to pay it $750, 000 quarterly as fees for its services.
The contract was signed on September 13, 2013. (See attached documentation at http://www.fara.gov/docs/2165-Exhibit-AB-20131121-49.pdf )
The Hill said, President Jonathan who is likely to seek reelection in 2015, is seeking to counter the perception that he has not done enough to combat the Boko Haram who in April seized more than 220 schoolgirls from their dormitory in Chibok, Borno State.
Levick according to the contract is also 'assisting the government's efforts to mobilize international support in fighting Boko Haram as part of the greater war on terror.'
Levick is partnering on the contract with Jared Genser, a human rights attorney who primarily represents political prisoners, the website said.
It further said, Levick will be also working to publicize 'President Goodluck Jonathan Administration's past, present and future priority to foster transparency, democracy and the rule of law throughout Nigeria,' according to contract documents.
The firm will be paid $75,000 per month for its work, in addition to the extra costs of advertisements, video production and website development, and is working for the government through a state-owned media agency.
If members of the firm travel to Nigeria, the website said, there will be an additional estimated cost of $22,500 per person. A subcontract with Perseus Strategies is valued at $25,000 per month, bringing the monthly retainer to a total of $100,000.
The security situation in Nigeria especially in the north is very fragile as terrorists manage to sustain daily deadly attacks in various parts of the north east especially in Borno State.
Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed while dozens of communities have been razed by Boko Haram radical Islamic fundamentalists who say western education is a sin. There are also reports of women taken forcefully by terrorists.
A terrorist attack Wednesday outside a busy shopping mall in Abuja, the nation's capital killed 21 and wounded 17 persons. The attack forced President Goodluck Jonathan to cut short his trip to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea where he was attending an African Union Summit.