Stephen C. Ikebude
Is there any African adult with an Internet access that do not know who Bill Gates is? Such a name isn’t one that requires a theoretical research or a academic debate to tell who it identifies. Bill Gates can be known by many people to represent many things or functions. Personally, the name Bill Gates represents a man who is tired of being identified by his wealth.
Last week, Bill Gates was made a national topic in Nigeria. He covered different front pages of newspapers and was headlined for his presence in the country. It was the wealthiest wedding ceremony of the wealthiest African’s daughter that brought Bill to Nigeria. A wedding that brought Nigerian and African leaders to a spot.
Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa invited the world to his daughter traditional and white wedding ceremonies in Kano and Lagos respectively. The ‘who is who’ was there and it was a complete show of power, money, class, authority, respect, wealth and political connections. Unlike other high profiled weddings, this particular wedding placed media celebrities in shadows, except for those who were contracted to perform.
It is no longer news that the wedding ceremonies of Dangote’s daughter have come and gone but Nigerians are yet over with the frenzies of the occasion. Even the Presidency of Nigeria utilised the wedding attendance of the wealthiest man in the world to sell their political agenda through public discussions and chit-chat with Bill Gates.
The Presidency tried to market their agenda to Bill Gates with hopes that the Billionaire will applaud, promote and project their efforts. They even expected a sort of investment from the simply dressed Microsoft corporation founder, who in response gave the Nigerian government a shocker. The world keenly saw how the political plans of the Buhari-led presidency backfired and became a political disaster of the year.
Bill Gates did not applaud Buhari or his representatives on their plans and efforts. Interestingly, the American authoritatively asserted opinions that were contrary to those of Nigerian government. He blatantly told the Nigerian government that their plans “do not reflect the desires, cries and demands of the people”, bemoaning the failures in healthcare and stunted financial growth outlooks of the country.
This opinion of Bill Gates on the leadership and policy frameworks of the Buhari-led government became a political debate in Nigeria. Political debaters, policy analysts, government officers including the opposition political parties have expressed mixed reactions and views about the opinions of the Founder of Bill and Melinda Foundation, the biggest foundation in world.
The world knew that the wealthiest man in the world visited Nigeria to attend the wedding ceremony of the daughter of the wealthiest man in Africa but what the world fails to understand is that the opinion about the Nigerian government given by Bill Gates while in Nigeria was the wealthiest opinion. It is an opinion that conforms with what every common Nigerian has been crying out about.
Bill Gates doesn’t need new data on Nigeria before giving his opinion. His foundation has done research on the healthcare situations of Nigeria. Bill spoke on available data and that the directions of the Nigerian government is completely opposite to those demanding by the Nigerian people.
My aches are: why will a government that came in with plan to correct errors made by their predecessors be taking anti-people actions and pursuing anti-people goals? If the people have been crying out for betterment, why does it take a foreigner to tell our government officers what Nigerians have been saying and shouting aloud before now?
The reality today is Nigerians now know the truths. Nigerians are fully aware of the directions of this government. It is now a fact that this government does not listen to its people and are adamant to see the suffrages of its people. Nigerians now know their enemies and no further packaging can keep the truths about this government away from them.
If the vice president of Nigeria still thinks he has rights to blame former President Goodluck Jonathan three years after elections, Nigerians also know they have rights to change what they changed in 2015.