An article shared on Facebook claims US billionaire Bill Gates has pledged US$2.1 billion to support the development of Nigeria’s disputed region of Biafra “when it becomes a nation”.
Biafra, in Nigeria’s South East, seceded in 1967. This led to a 30-month civil war that ended the secession.
Africa Check has debunked a number of articles claiming that various global leaders support the establishment of the sovereign state of Biafra.
The latest article, by Pointer News, also claims that Gates donated thousands to healthcare and education in Nigeria’s North East.
“He has been to North East Nigeria, he has given out thousands of dollars to them for health and education development,” it says. “Now he promised to assist Biafra to develop health, education and technology when it becomes a nation.”
No evidence of link between Gates and Biafra
We searched using multiple search engines, looking for reports, photo or video from credible sources that linked the billionaire philanthropist to Biafra, and found none.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works in partnership with the Nigerian government. (Disclosure: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Africa Check.)
The government has proscribed the Indigenious People of Biafra, a leading pro-Biafra organisation, designating it a terrorist group.
‘The article is false’
Africa Check asked Olufunke Olufon, a communications officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Nigeria office, about the article.
“The article referenced in your email below is false,” she said.
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works in close partnership with Nigeria’s federal and state governments, civil society, the private sector and development partners in support of the country’s development goals – particularly in human capital development, health, agriculture, nutrition, digital innovation and data and financial services for the poor.” – Allwell Okpi
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