By Elizabeth Chukwuma
The reelection of Akiwumi Adesina, a former minister of Agriculture and Rural Development under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, last Thursday at Abidjan Capital of the West African country of, Cote D’Ivoire, appears to have settled all the political differences among the Nigerian political class as they see the victory as a victory for Nigeria and Africa in general.
This is evident going by the outpour of encomiums on him since the announcement of his re-election at the Bank annual General Meeting, AGM, by Niale Kaba, the Cote d’Ivoire minister of National planning and Chairman of the African Development Bank, AfDB was made public.
Indeed Nigerians have every reason to celebrate Adeesina at the highest level of government for bringing honour to the Country. Ever since the establishment of the Bank in 1964, it is on record that he is the first Nigerian to be elected as the President of the Bank and re-elected as the Bank’s President without any Opposition.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy, under the Obasanjo’s Administration,’’ who is also an International figure, were said to have opened the flood gate for the Congratulatory messages to the Nigerian born AfDB President.
The Katsina state born Nigerian President who could not hide his feelings in his Congratulatory message to him last Thursday said , ‘’he deserves to be re-elected because of his laudable achievements in his first term in office’’. He was said to have congratulated him ‘’on behalf of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, and Nigerians in general’’, showing the happiness in him. Okonjo-Iweala, a world class technocrat, who had served under the same government with Adesina was said to have ‘’wished him a successful second term in office’’.
Ahmad Lawan, the President of the All Progressive Congress, APC, controlled Senate Chamber, of Federal Republic of Nigeria, said Adesina’s victory at the AfDB, election during its AGM, at Abidjan, ‘’unequivocally affirmed the Confidence, trust of the shareholders, Management and Staff of the Bank, due to his exemplary leadership’’.
The Senate President who was said to have conveyed a message of the National Assembly to the AfDB , President, described him ’’ as the joy and pride of the entire National Assembly over the electoral acclamation of integrity, grace, substance and hardwork’’. He was said to have urged the AfDB President ‘’to remain focused and resolute in his mission’’, notwithstanding the storm that preceded his reelection bid ‘’. Appealing to him ‘’to see it as a test of gold, stating that ‘’having come out of it is a test of glittering’’,
Seyi Makinde, a People’s Democratic Party , PDP, governor of the south west state of Oyo , in his Congratulatory message described Adesina as ‘’a world class technocrat who remains a pride to Nigeria and the Yoruba race’’. Godwin Obaseki, a former All Progressive Congress, APC, governor of the south-south state of Edo, who had decamped to the PDP, and clinched the party governorship ticket for the September 19, 2020, governorship election in the state, in his Congratulatory message described him as ‘’a trail blazar , who has over time proven to be one of the best Ambassadors of the Nigerian brand’’. According to him his reelection for another five-year term to lead the AfDB’’ is a victory for Ngeria’’.
Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and now, National Leader, of the APC, said the re-election of the former Nigerian minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for another five –year term as President of AfDB, was ‘’an affirmation of Africa’s Confidence in his ability and Commitment to development of the Continent’’.
The APC, National leader who described Adesina ‘’as a globally reknowned economist who has demonstrated outstanding Competence and Professionalism during his first five years in office as President, AfDB, said his re-election will reshape the bank to be a more active calyst for Africa’s development’’.He would want him ‘’to invest his cognitive abilities, immense skills, and energy in the development of the African Continent.
Tinubu, who could not hide his feelings, gave kudos, to President Buhari, his political ally, present and past political leaders in the African Continent, who believed in him and had worked tirelessly to work for his re-election bid. Recall that former President Obasanjo had started the Campaign for Adesina reelection bid by reaching to 13 other African leaders urging them to support him for the betterment of Africa.
The joy in the re-election of Adessina as AfDB, President , knows no bound in Africa as shown by Mrs. Patricia Otuedon Arawore, Executive Secretary of Hallmarks Labour Foundation , HLF, who was said to have joined other African leaders to pour encomiums on Adesina, describing him as a ‘’distinguished role model’’.
She had said that his re-election , with a unanimous vote of 100 % at Abidja, the Bank’s Headquarters at its, AGM, did not come to many as a surprise. According to Mrs. Arawore, he had achieved the highest capital increase since the establishment of the Bank in 1964, when the shareholders from 80 member countries raised the general Capital of the Bank by 25&%.He was said to have increased the Bank’s capital base to $115 billion, from $93 billion.
The HLF Executive Secretary said Adesina’s achievements in his first five years in office as AfDB President has put him ‘’ to the crème de la crème of the honours list in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large’’.