19th March, 2013
The presidency said on Monday that Microsoft founder, Bill Gates’ did not cancel his visit to Nigeria in protest against state pardon granted to former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha as was reported in the media.
Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity told journalists that reports in some sections of the media insinuating that Gates has cancelled his planned visit to Nigeria because of the recent pardon granted to some Nigerians was false.
Abati who added that the President is in touch with the Microsoft founder said Gates travels are usually dependent on the schedules and availability of people who are his partners and that it was because the partners will not be available at the time he is scheduled to visit Nigeria that the visit was rescheduled.
“Nigerians should note that President Jonathan and Mr Bill Gates have met several times in the past and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is one of the major partners working with Nigerian government to ensure that polio is completely eradicated by 2015”, Abati who added that the Microsoft founder will continue to visit Nigeria in continuation of his work alongside the Federal Government and other partners to eradicate polio said.
“What we will like to reassure people is that those who are always looking for opportunity to pull down the country should realise the fact that this country belongs to all of us and that nobody will gain anything by trying to pull down the country”, he added.