President Muhammadu Buhari has guaranteed the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina of not withholding his support in the latter’s re-election bid.
The President gave the assurance while hosting Dr Adesina on a courtesy visit at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
Going down memory lane, President Buhari said, “In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position. I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support. I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria” .
Buhari pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Dr Adesina was elected for a second term built on the fantastic record of his achievements during his first term.
Dr Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, explained that the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank,” adding that the Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and that calls for a fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.
“My defence ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned. The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations. That was the end of the matter, according to the rules.
“It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched. I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,” Dr Adesina said.
Stressing that the motive was to soil his name, and that of the bank, the AfDB President said he was proud to be Nigerian, and thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support.
“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election” he declared.
Adesina commiserated with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, and described Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the new Chief of Staff as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”
Recall that the African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as the sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Dr Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.
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