How Twitter posts may have cost Nigeria’s former minister top position in international firm 


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In July 2015, Muhammad Pate, a former Nigerian junior Health Minister, shared an article on Twitter that might have now cost him the top position at Global Fund, PremiumTimes reports.

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Mr. Pate had been among the finalists alongside two candidates for the Executive Director position of the Geneva-based financing institution. 

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But on Monday, the day the Board convened to review the finalists recommended by its Nominations Committee, it announced it was starting a fresh recruitment process for a new candidate. 

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“The Board is committed to a process that adheres to the highest possible standards, and is fair, transparent, merit-based, and conducted with due diligence and professionalism,” said Norbert Hauser, the Chair of the Board. 

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Since its establishment in 2002, Global Fund, an initiative that aims at combating AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria had committed over $30bn in the fight, with a huge chunk of the money coming from the U.S. 

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The current Director of the fund, Mark Dybul, is expected to step down at the end of May, when his tenure ends. Shortlisted to replace him had been Mr. Pate and two others – Subhanu Saxena, a former chief executive of Cipla, a major Indian pharmaceutical company; and Helen Clark, a former New Zealand prime minister. 

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After the shortlist of the top three candidates, the New York Times ran an article stating that global health officials were worried that the backgrounds of all 3 finalists could push the Trump administration away from historical commitment to the fund.

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The controversial tweet Dr. Pate posted last July was a New Yorker article titled ‘Being Honest About Trump,’ wherein it was summarized that “To call the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee a fascist of some variety is simply to use a historical label that fits.” 

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Later in December, Mr. Pate tweeted a series of articles critical of Mr. Trump’s call to ban Muslims. The Times report also raised serious concerns about Mr. Pate’s fellow candidates. 

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