US public relations company Levick has signed a $1.2m contract with the Nigerian government to provide public affairs and communications counsel in the wake of the Boko Haram kidnappings.
Entering into a one-year agreement, Levick began work on June 16 with a brief that includes handling government affairs and communications with the goal of changing the international and local media narrative about Nigeria’s commitment to returning the more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April. In addition, Levick will also aid the government’s efforts to mobilise international support in fighting Boko Haram as part of the greater global war on terror.
Levick’s services will also include communicating the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s past, present, and future priorities to foster transparency, democracy and the rule of law throughout Nigeria. According to documents filed with the US Justice Department, the firm will serve as the government's international mouthpiece on this matter.
Mark Irion, Levick's president said: "We are focused on outcomes and authentic communications that build trust. We are approaching the work " tell the world what is really happening to recover these girls and fight the scourge of Boko Haram."
In addition, Levick will also work with human rights lawyer Jared Genser. Mr Genser, the managing director of legal services firm Perseus Strategies, is also the founder of Freedom Now, a group that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide.