Was Obi awarded best governor in health care in 2013?

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Peter Obi, standard bearer of the Labour Party (LP), recently said he was awarded best governor in health care in Nigeria by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013.

Obi made the claim on Sunday at the town hall meeting of presidential candidates.

The presidential town hall series is an initiative of Arise Television and the Centre for Democracy and Development.

Present were Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Peter Obi, LP’s presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa, vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who stood in for Atiku Abubakar, and Kola Abiola, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

The event, which was the first in a series, focused on security and the economy. It provided presidential candidates with the opportunity to present their plans for the country if elected president in the 2023 general election.

While reeling out his strides in the health sector as former governor of Anambra, Obi said his achievement as the best-performing governor in health care, speaks of his capacity to be president if elected.

“When I left office, the only measure of development at that time was the millennium development goals by the United Nations and the Nigeria federal government was run by the party I don’t belong to, I was number one. I was number one in education, I was number one in health – I won the Bill Gates prize,” he said.

VERIFICATION

Checks by TheCable show that in 2013, Obi bagged the best performing governor on the eradication of polio in the south-east from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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During the presentation of the award in 2013, which came with a cash prize of N120 million, Mohammed Pate, the then minister of health, said the award was deserving, adding that Obi had distinguished himself in the health sector.

The former minister described Obi’s exemplary leadership as a total package, noting that the state had remained polio-free in the past five years.

The award given to Obi in 2013 clearly signified that only south-east states were considered for the ranking and the focus was specifically limited to state contribution to eradicating polio in the region.

VERDICT

The statement by Obi claiming he was awarded the best governor in health care in Nigeria is exaggerated and misleading.

While the eradication of polio in Anambra was a notable achievement in the health sector, the award given by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 only focused on contributions towards polio eradication in the south-east region.

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