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Bill Gates did not cancel trip, says Abati

By The Citizen
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The Presidency Monday said the report in a section of the media that Bill Gate has cancelled his proposed visit because of the presidential pardon granted to some Nigerians was not correct.

In a statement by the special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, he said the visit was rescheduled because of other commitment by Bill Gate.

The statement reads: 'I have read the report in some sections of the media insinuating that Mr. Bill Gate has cancelled his planned visit to Nigeria because of the recent pardon granted some Nigerians.

'I am in touch with the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation and I can say that this report is not true and that it exists only in the imagination of the writers.

'The foundation said that Mr. Bill Gates' travels are often dependent on the schedules and availability of many other people and partners and that in this particular case, because these other people and partners will not be available at the time he is presently scheduled to visit Nigeria, they have to reschedule the visit.

'They also said the rescheduling has nothing to do with politics and it has nothing to do with any domestic situation in Nigeria. That Mr. Gates has visited Nigeria many times in the past and he will continue to visit Nigeria because his focus is working with Nigerian government and partners in Nigeria to eradicate polio.

'Nigerians should note that President Jonathan and Mr. Bill Gates have met several times in the past and the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation is one of the major partners working with Nigerian government to ensure that polio is completely eradicated by 2015 which is so etching President Goodluck Jonathan is committed and which he has drawn attention to all the time, an issue on which Nigerian government has done quite a lot.

'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.

'Instead, Nigerians should do everything possible to promote their own country regardless of whatever differences that may exist among us: ethnic, religious, sectarian, whatever'.