EXCLUSIVE: Levick speaks, says it was hired by Nigerian government to find Chibok girls, fight terrorism

Levick is being criticised by Nigerians on micro-blogging site, twitter.

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Following Thursday’s social media campaign launched by Nigerians against it, Levick, the Washington-based public relations and lobby firm, has denied it was hired to whitewash the image of the president as regards the kidnap of the Chibok school girls.

Levick, accused by critics of being hired to change the narrative of Nigerian government’s inept handling of the kidnap, said its job is to help the government to, among others, fight terrorism.

The PR firm told PREMIUM TIMES its mission is to help the government rescue the girls and fight terrorism.

Levick, however, did not explain how a PR firm, which essentially specialises in communication, has the capacity to help the government rescue the girls.

It also did not explain why after almost after three weeks of being hired, terrorist  attacks, rather than reduce, has intensified. In fact, Friday morning, another attack occurred in Damboa, a community that is a stone’s throw from Chibok where the girls were kidnapped.

The attacks have continued despite the state of emergency declared on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa since May last year.

In an email to this newspaper after an earlier telephone conversation, the Vice President of Levick, Philip Elwood, described his firm’s mission in the paragraph below.

“As the world witnesses the brutality of Boko Haram, and its cowardly tactics of using children as pawns in their terrorist campaign, LEVICK’s only mission is assisting the Government of Nigeria with its number one priority — the rescue of the girls and combating terrorism,”  Mr. Elwood said in his email.

This is after LEVICK itself admitted to the Hill, an American newspaper specialising in covering parliament, that part of its strategy is to “amplify” what the president is saying and doing to find the girls.

“There’s got to be a way to amplify what he’s saying and doing to find these girls because over here in America, we’re not hearing much about his effort,” Lanny Davis, an Executive Vice President at Levick, had said.

The social media campaign, started after a statement was sent out to media organisations by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe.

Since Levick was contracted to handle the communication strategies as regards the kidnap of the girls and terrorism, the statement was believed to have been written by LEVICK or absolutely, with its approval.

Mr. Okupe’s statement attacked the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners and blamed them for the refusal of parents of the abducted girls to meet with the president on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, political forces within the Nigerian chapter of Bring Back Our Girls have decided to take this opportunity to play politics with the situation and the grief of the parents and the girls,” the statement said. “They should be ashamed of their actions.”

The statement also referred to the campaigners as engaging in “psychological terrorism.”

In a telephone conversation with this reporter before he sent the email, Mr Elwood denied that his firm was not hired to whitewash the image of the Nigerian government adding that it accepted the job to help the government combat Boko Haram.

He was however non-committal on whether or not the firm wrote the statement Mr. Okupe distributed.

“You used the term whitewashed. That’s not what we were hired to do,” he said. “We were hired to communicate what the government is doing to find the girl, combat Boko Haram. That’s it.”

When asked to comment on what observers consider government’s lethargy at the onset of the abduction, Mr. Elwood said Levick couldn’t comment on that.

The #someoneTellLevick hashtag trended in Nigeria on Thursday generating over 3,600 tweets, according to social media analytics site, Topsy.

Nigeria’s social media users accused Levick of despising and intimidating Nigerians regarding the over 250 girls kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram sect.

Three months after the girls were kidnapped; about 217 of them are still believed to be with the Boko Haram.


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  • solomakinovich

    Let them continue to delude themselves. BH has for good or bad registered its wicked ways in the world’s subconscious.
    How a million PR efforts can liberate the poor hostages is yet to be seen. In the whole of Africa today, I doubt if apart from Nigeria and South Africa there is any nation that can rival our PR clout. They just must hire oyinbo to create the impression they are active when lethargy is drowning all their puny efforts.

    • redeem

      tell us why APC rented 2 PR firms-within months–from london to launder their boko haramic image-

      • djay

        wetin concern Apc inside this matter

      • Lanre

        What has APC got to do with your govt lack of vision.

  • Ahmad

    Every step is a goof! Clueless is an understatement.

  • Olayinka

    This action by levick and the clueless Nigeria govt is really unacceptable. I said this pr firm is a crap and really they have shown how stupid they are. I won’t blame but man we call a president, that keeps on embarrassing us day by day.

  • Fulani Nomad

    The only PR Nigerians need are honesty & sincerity towards responsibity. This is what the Okupes & the Makes railed to come to terms with. No amount of image laundering erase this fact.

  • Lannister

    Jonathan is just clueless. Nd his band of advisers.

  • Lannister

    Instead of the pDP led government to make a concerted effort to free the girls. He’s busy wasting our money on Washington PR. Clueless lot.

    • redeem

      NIGERIA’S main opposition party the All Progressive Congress (APC) has hired another foreign public relations firm to take charge of its impending 2015 campaign at a whopping cost of $1.2m

      Keen to wrestle power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) next year when Nigeria will hold general elections, the APC has hired the services of London public relations firm Burson-Marsteller at a cost of $1.2m. Under the terms of the contract, the image making company will handle all of the APC’s media campaigns for the next 12 months up to and beyond next year’s elections.

      • Lanre

        you are still busy with your lies. the story is about the PR agent hired by your employer to deceive the world on chibok girls not APC. so please stay on the line…………..

        • djay

          U don’t need to reply that redeem fellow, most people commenting have chosen to ignore is comments.

        • redeem

          @ wahala–are u now working for lair mohamed why has APC not denied the allegation–instead of they all over the meida house telling us lies–let them first clean their house b4 looking into the home of others-

          • Reminisce6

            You`re polluting everywhere,Punch,Vanguard etc.It appears you`re placed on a wage to be doing this dirty stuff but i`ll suggest you get a decent living because the more you continue in this business of lies,distortion and malicious defamation of characters the more your soul becomes demented.2015 or 2019 GEJ will be gone and what would have become of you then?Deranged.

    • redeem

      RUSSIAN security experts are worried over the possibility of the All Progressives Party (APC) taking over the reins of government in Nigeria next year, branding the party a coalition of Muslim extremists.

      The thinking in Russian political and security circles about the future of Nigeria was made known by a former presidential and Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov.

      Nekrassov, regarded globally as a political analyst and commentator, made the disclosure in a celebrated editorial opinion written for the respected Al-jazzera news channel.

      He noted that the thinking in Russia was to support President Goodluck Jonathan to continue in office and, if necessary, to extend emergency rule in the North-East base of Boko Haram and postpone the forthcoming general elections. Unquote-

      This article would have been splashed on the front pages of sharia preporters if the pieacee was on jonathan-Happily for us–the globe is gradually getting to know that APC is an Islamic janjaweed party- not good for the human society———-cheers

  • John green

    what else are we going to call this man that will be overstatement because we’v called him all sort of names and yet, he hasn’t changed, he’s daily causing more problem for the nation and instead of him to address the main problem, he’s avoiding it even at the expense of the lives of the commoner, we need the man that cares for the soul of every citizen not the one that gamble with it. We need change

  • redeem

    why is PT deleting comments–here–Hope we are not about to experience another sharia reporters type of vetting–where comments which are not favorable to——APC are often deleted and the owners of the post blacklisted–in the name of APC induced censorship-

    • djay

      u can see nobody is responding to your comments

      • redeem

        @wahala–then why respond–do I post comments because i want the janjaweeds working for APC to reply to them–my comments are being deleted and u are here talking rubbish-on behalf of APC–did they not also hire a PR firm as indicated above-APC can hire 2 PR firms but not the federal government abi-animals

  • Nwa Aba #Lets Break Up Now

    PT……….investigate report and expose boko haram sponsors
    stop chasing shadows

    • Chukwuma Ojukwu

      GEJ is worst than Mohammed Yusuf+Shekau+Hitler+Putin+Asad+Ghaddafi+North Korean head+Benjamin Netanyahu+Kim Yong-IL+Devil

  • Nwa Aba #Lets Break Up Now

    PT…GEJ is not Shakau
    investigate report and expose boko haram sponsors

    stop chasing shadows

  • redeem

    NIGERIA’S main opposition party the All Progressive Congress (APC) has hired another foreign public relations firm to take charge of its impending 2015 campaign at a whopping cost of $1.2m

    Keen to wrestle power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) next year when Nigeria will hold general elections, the APC has hired the services of London public relations firm Burson-Marsteller at a cost of $1.2m. Under the terms of the contract, the image making company will handle all of the APC’s media campaigns for the next 12 months up to and beyond next year’s elections.

  • uduakomiri

    Can Levick at least show us prove of how they have fulfilled the claim they were hired to fight terrorism and rescue the Chibok girls. If Levick can’t we should insist on #ReturnourMoney@Levick

    • redeem

      NIGERIA’S main opposition party the All Progressive Congress (APC) has hired another foreign public relations firm to take charge of its impending 2015 campaign at a whopping cost of $1.2m

      Keen to wrestle power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) next year when Nigeria will hold general elections, the APC has hired the services of London public relations firm Burson-Marsteller at a cost of $1.2m. Under the terms of the contract, the image making company will handle all of the APC’s media campaigns for the next 12 months up to and beyond next year’s elections. what about APC–that hired two PR firm-hypocrites

      • Lanre

        haba you are still busy with your lies. the story is about the PR agent hired by your employer to deceive the world on chibok girls not APC. so please stay on the line…………..

      • charles

        U must be a fool….is that d line of discussion. here….pdp appologist

      • uduakomiri

        You should be in a psychiatric ward.

  • Oladapo Adesope

    No matter how you wash a soil bed sheet it will still have some offensive odour. you want to look good but you are rotten within

  • Danas Kalu

    Come to shit turns match the shit-

    Levicks whitewatsh turns blackwash-

    The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.

    Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.

    GEJ and his PDP govt. has been disappointed by Levicks discouragement. Levicks had finally joined BringBackOurGirls campaigns.

    #someoneTellLEVICK that he is not a security firm but PR firm.
    #someoneTellLEVICK to live Nigeria alone.
    #someoneTellLEVICK that he is a lying firm.
    #someoneTellLEVICK that Nigerians are intelligent.

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  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    I do not know why Levick bothered to respond. These people are inconsequential. Nigerian voters believe the president is doing his best so far. We have a national security adviser and Minister of Defence, who have all the support of the president to do all the needful. Popularity contest are tested in polling booths not on twitter rants

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    I do not know why Levick bothered to respond. These people are inconsequential. Nigerian voters believe the president is doing his best so far. We have a national security adviser and Minister of Defence, who have all the support of the president to do all the needful. Popularity contest are tested in polling booths not on twitter rants

  • humm

    So this PR company is now a military agency fighting torrorism. interesting!! I guess they sound as stupid as the reason they are giving.

  • Broodyn

    Levick is just a PR company. Where did they get the military power from? Print media dey lie.

  • Broodyn

    Nigeria actually needs good PR out there. A friend of mine traveled to Dubai and on getting to the customs counter and submitting his passport, the guy behind the counter made this annoying comment: “Nigerians, Drug People”. I wouldn’t blame his myopic views but then we need good representation out there and Nigerians in Diaspora have got to get their acts together. You are ambassadors of this nation for crying out loud.