Nigeria Hires U.S. PR Firm and Gets Big WaPo Op-Ed by President Jonathan

by Greg Pollowitz

The AP had this story yesterday. . .

Amid terror chaos, Nigeria hires US PR firm to shape ‘narrative’

The hapless Nigerian government has finally found a way to deal with the ruthless Boko Haram terror group — hire a Washington PR firm.

Although the Nigerian government has been unable to contain the group’s string of attacks or bring home 270 schoolgirls the group abducted in April, it just inked a $1.2 million contract with DC powerhouse PR firm Levick to boost its perception around the world, the Hill reported.

Under the terms of the contract, the firm will try to put a shine on the image of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, who is up for re-election in February.

The firm will seek to shape “the international and local media narrative” around Nigeria’s “efforts to find and safely return the girls abducted by the terrorist organization Boko Haram,” according to the contract.

. . . and today, Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has an op-ed in the Washington Post where he attempts to shape the narrative. A coincidence or Levick in action? As for the content of the op-ed, I found it unpersuasive regarding President Jonathan’s actions to date. You see, he was just keeping quiet up until now for security reasons.

I have had to remain quiet about the continuing efforts by Nigeria’s military, police and investigators to find the girls kidnapped in April from the town of Chibok by the terrorist group Boko Haram. I am deeply concerned, however, that my silence as we work to accomplish the task at hand is being misused by partisan critics to suggest inaction or even weakness.

My silence has been necessary to avoid compromising the details of our investigation. But let me state this unequivocally: My government and our security and intelligence services have spared no resources, have not stopped and will not stop until the girls are returned home and the thugs who took them are brought to justice. On my orders, our forces have aggressively sought these killers in the forests of northern Borno state, where they are based. They are fully committed to defending the integrity of their country.

Let’s hope the Post fact-checks this op-ed and gives equal space to Jonathan’s critics.