Save Nigeria Network, a civil society organisation, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of hiring foreign lobbyist to achieve regime change and not for election purpose.
The group claim PDP’s hiring of the foreign firm is to manipulate results of the 2019 general elections in favour of its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Report had emerged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had hired the firm of Brian Ballard, a top US lobbyist, ahead of the 2019 elections.
The firm is expected, according to reports, to receive $90,000 per month.
However, SNM said the PDP and Atiku only hired the foreign firm to manipulate results of the 2019 polls like Russia did in America two years ago.
Dr. Abraham Abayomi, Convener Pro-Tempo, said that the decision to hire the American firm to meddle in Nigeria’s election showed a troubling pattern that PDP has no interest in running Nigeria for Nigerians.
In the statement on Sunday, Abayomi warned Nigerians to be wary of the kind of foreign interference that the PDP/Ballard marriage will produce.
He said, “We are compelled to invite you for this press briefing after news broke that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has hired a United States firm and lobbyist, Brian Ballard to work for his campaign.
“We are saddened that the PDP and Atiku’s loyalist are hailing the $90 thousand Dollars or N31.5 million per month hire as the next best thing after the creation of mankind when they should reasonably be crying for being out of touch with reality.
“The hire is wrong on many level.
“First, for a candidate that is said of being an apostle of restructuring, engaging Brian Ballard for that amount is the hallmark of irresponsibility. Part of the restructuring Nigeria needs is the urgent trimming down of election cost so that decent people can contest and possibly win elections to contribute their quota to national development.
“But where doling out to Americans the payment goes as planned, then reducing the cost of elections will remain a myriad.
“Ballard is therefore not a quantity to be celebrated as his previous job deliveries had been about manipulations and interference that was carried out by Russia in Trump’s election, which has become a subject till date in the intelligence community of America. Nigerians must therefore be wary of the kind of foreign interference that the Atiku/Ballard marriage will produce.
“Ballard as Trump’s lobbyist is not a voter anywhere in Nigeria and whatever role he has been invited to play is suspicious and can only be targeted at a regime change that seeks to invalidate the sanctity of the ballot by getting third party countries to influence the process. “