A United States-based political strategy firm, AKPD Message and Media, engaged by the opposition All Progressives Congress to improve its electoral fortunes is still active, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt. It was gathered in Abuja on Friday that the Chicago-based firm has been behind several of the party’s campaign messages and strategy.
The firm is best known for its leading role in President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. AKPD Message and Media is known to have worked with key Democratic Party candidates throughout the US. It has also earned a reputation for supporting leading populist movements across the globe. The APC had at the beginning of its contract, stated that, “we shall leverage on the firm’s skill, experience and expertise throughout the upcoming campaign cycle.’’
According to the party, the company’s track record could be seen in political climate similar to Nigeria’s, including Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana. It said the partnership with the firm was an indication that the process of change in Nigeria had already begun and would not be stopped A highly placed member of the APC, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, explained that the firm is working behind the scene.
The source said, “They have been doing their work; they were involved in surveys and polls, looking at areas of our strengths and weaknesses, and advising on measures to be taken to consolidate on our gains. “They are helping to guide our campaigns to address our needs and we are getting value for our investments.” When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, told SUNDAY PUNCH that, “They (the firm) are political consultants; they are still with us. “I believe they will remain with us till we win the elections. I don’t think the contract is out.” Meanwhile, the US Government has said it is assisting the Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission in providing adequate security for the February general elections. The US stated that an American election security expert had visited Nigeria sometime in 2014. source;punch