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Buhari vs Atiku: PDP’s campaign spokesperson, Sowunmi opens up on ‘hiring’ foreign lobbyist to stop Buhari



The Spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Campaign Council, Segun Sowunmi, has opened up on the viral claim that its presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, paid a lobbyist firm in the US to stop the international community from recognizing President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the presidential election in Nigeria.

A research group based in the US, Centre for Responsive Politics, CRP had claimed that Abubakar was lobbying the United States government not to recognise anyone but him as Nigeria’s president-elect.

But appearing on Channels TV on Sunday, Sowunmi admitted that the PDP and its candidate engaged some international institutes to re-position and deepen the party, but denied paying any lobbyist firm.

He added, “I think the answer to that question is yes and no. Yes and no because the campaign of that magnitude that the PDP ran with a nation that has a lot of diaspora audience. With Nigerians living in all other countries having great interest with what is happening here, some of those supporters obviously engaged some of those people and because it is Atiku, the extra interest in those matters are high.

“What you hear in public space and social media and sometimes real papers is a suggestion as though in essence Atiku Abubabar abandoned his campaign and ran to America and start paying lobbyists. That’s not true.

“The part that first came out was that the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria, in its re-positioning efforts, way before it even got the presidential candidacy of Atiku Abubakar, had taken on some support from international agencies to look at how to reposition to party, to deepen it, to make it more gender friendly because you know democracy is not an isolated event you practice as a con-cone under your own enclave.

“Democracy must strive to meet the international best practices and acceptable standard. A lot of conversation takes place.

“Some of the people that will normally support and get you to be more democratic, the same way you get money from the United Nations; the same you get from the World Bank; the same way you get from the BFID and all of those institutes who are interested in the deepening of Nigeria but in a real sense of paying money to any lobbyist, the answer is no.”

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