Fact CheckPolitics

Several claims on Bill Gates’ alleged invasion, Atiku’s candidacy fact-checked

Claim: A WhatsApp post has several claims around Bill Gates’ alleged military invasion of Nigeria, Atiku’s presidential candidacy, the National Health Act, and the attack on Owo church. 

Three of the five claims in the WhatsApp post are false. There is insufficient evidence to verify the other two claims.

Full Text

Following the emergence of presidential candidates for different political parties, many WhatsApp users are beginning to circulate different claims about the candidates.

Recently, a WhatsApp post being circulated on different groups came with several claims about popular billionaire, Bill Gates’ alleged military invasion of Nigeria, Atiku’s presidential, candidacy, the National Health Act, and the attack on Owo church. 

Part of the post suggests that the ISWAP terrorists that reportedly attacked Owo church in Ondo State were trained by Blackwater Army which was reportedly owned by Bill Gate.

The post also claims that Bill Gate is planning to unleash the same military army on Nigeria, should the Buhari led-APC government fail to hand-over to Abubakar Atiku and Ifeanyi Okowa of PDP in 2023. 

A screenshot of the WhatsApp post

The 16-paragraph WhatsApp post with different links also insinuates that National Health Act 2014 was used to legalize human organs harvesting and human ovarian eggs poaching from Nigeria. 

The post also alleged that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was compelled by the Americans to sign the 2014 law, despite grave legal lacunae that risked the lives of millions of Nigerians, who would be killed for their organs in Nigerian hospitals. These hospitals were said to be owned by Bill Gates through proxies of a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement. 

Another part of the post suggests that the purported attacks by Bill Gates’ suspected terrorist mercenaries is to “create an outrage of persecution and killing of Christians in Nigeria, so that, their proxies would call for a UN peace-keeping force and create a decoy to formerly move-in the Blackwater private mercenaries that could topple the Buhari’s administration.”

DUBAWA observed that the post has led to arguments giving room for people to believe in a conspiracy theory that America is trying to unleash terror in Africa. This was also sent in by different users for verification, prompting us to look into the claims.   

Verification

Claim 1: ISWAP terrorists trained by Blackwater Private Army were responsible for the mass genocide in a Church in Owo in Southwestern Nigeria that left 40 victims dead.

Findings by DUBAWA, however, showed that Blackwater started out as a private security firm providing training support to law enforcement, the justice department, and military organizations. 

Blackwater, now known as Academi LLC, was one of the private security firms used to guard officials, security guards, and military installations, train army and police forces, and provide other support for armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Israel.

The transformation of Blackwater logo to Xe and now Academi 

While Academi was used to fight against terrorism in some parts of the world, DUBAWA discovered that there was no sufficient evidence to connect the private security firm and ISWAP which took responsibility for the Owo attack. 

Claim 2: Blackwater is a private army owned by Bill Gates and Monsanto

DUBAWA’s findings revealed that the Blackwater which is now known as Academi was founded by former Navy SEAL officer, Erik Prince. 

Blackwater, renamed Xe Services in 2009 has been known as Academi since 2011, after it was acquired by a group of private investors.

Further checks showed two large companies: Forte Capital Advisers and Manhattan Growth Products, now operate Academi. 

It was gathered that Forte Capital Advisers is run by Jason DeYonker, who has several financial and personal connections to former Blackwater Founder, Erik Prince. Manhattan Growth Products on the other hand has controlling shares in many small corporations including Hugo Naturals, which manufactures all natural cleaning products and “vegan friendly soaps.”

Findings also revealed that Monsanto Company, is a multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that provides agricultural products for farmers. It is owned by Bayer AG with Hugh Grant as the CEO. 

Dubawa’s checks discovered that Bill Gates was not a shareholder in the companies that acquire Academi and Monsanto Company as speculated in the WhatsApp post. 

Claim 3: The National Health Act 2014 was used to legalize  harvesting of human organs and poaching of  human ovarian eggs from Nigeria.

When DUBAWA went through the National Health Act 2014, there was nowhere the legalization of human organs and ovarian eggs poaching was discussed. 

A report by PREMIUM TIMES also revealed that the act is expected to impact on health-care access and universal health coverage, health-care cost, quality and standards, practice by health-care providers, as well as patient care and health outcomes. 

Claim 4: The Act was pushed by Bill Gates and President Obama during the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who insisted that he was compelled by the Americans to sign it.

DUBAWA’s check showed that the National Health Act was first proposed in 2004 during the time of Eyitayo Lambo as minister of health. It, however, took a decade of consideration before it was eventually passed and signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan on October 31, 2014

As against the post, former President Jonathan in 2021 said the National Health Bill and two others have remained dear to his heart. 

Mr Jonathan, who also listed the Freedom of Information Bill and the Nigerian Local Content Bill, noted that the bills were special to him, despite signing numerous bills during his tenure as president. 

Further search by DUBAWA using keywords showed that there was never a time the former president claimed the Americans  forced him to sign the National Health Act 2014. 

Claim 5: Bill Gates has planned a military invasion of Nigeria should APC refuse to yield power to the PDP because Atiku and Okowa are the preferred candidates of Bill Gates.

DUBAWA was unable to ascertain if Bill Gates is supporting Atiku/Okowa’s Presidency. 

There was insufficient evidence to substantiate the claim that the Billionaire is doing everything to ensure his candidates emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria. 

Conclusion

Three of the five claims in the WhatsApp post are false but there is insufficient evidence to support the other two claims.

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