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AfDB:Buhari Throws His Weight On Akiwumi Adesina Re-election Bid for A second Term In OfficeTo Snub The United States

By Stphen Ubanna

Akinwumi Adesina, a former minister of Agriculture and Rural Development under former President Goodluck Jonathan of the then ruling  People’s Democratic Party government and now President of the African Development Bank , AfDB, can now  heave a sigh of relief.

This is because president muhammadu Buhari appears to have  mobilised support to facilitate  his return to office for a second term .   The Presidential support is coming  despite the rising opposition  against him from  both within and outside the African Continent to forestall his re-election bid which was being championed by the  North American country of the United States , which has 6.5 % , which makes it the second  largest shareholder  next to  the oil rich Nigeria

. Trouble was said to have started for the Nigerian born ADB President when he might have  played into the hands of the  whistle- blowers and  aggrieved  Staff  opposed to his running of the African lender  bank over the last four years. The whistle blowers and the  aggrieved Staff  had raised some weighty  allegations that he had used the Bank’s resources  for self promotion  and personal gain, while also paying   out  huge but  undeserved huge  severance packages  to Staff  who had resigned their appointment previously and favouring close acquaintances  in the award of  juicy contracts from the Bank  and appointment into strategic positions  his fellow Nigerians.

 The allegations in may have exposed the rift tbetween the unnamed Staff and the Nigerian born  AfDB President. But the Nigerian government  will not take it.  The Katsina state born Nigerian President may have seen the gang up against  Adesina , as an un declared war by the US, against Nigeria.  

Adesina: AfDB President

Given the direction the matter is taking, Adesina, the AfDB President had flown to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory , FCT, on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, to have a word with the President at the Presidential Villa. The duo were said to have met behind closed door. Some  top government  officials  including Hajia Zainab Ahmed , minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning  were said to have been invited into the meeting to make their  own contribution to ensure that Adesina was not disgraced out of  office going by the way the US   was going about it.

 The visit was said to have  provided an ample opportunity for the embattled AfDB President  to state his own side of the case to the  government officials, insisting that’’ they were trump up charges  against him by whistle-blowers and the Staff’’.

The presentation of his defense which clearly showed that he was innocent may have given the President  the  encouragement to reassure him of Nigeria’s support   for his re-election bid.   ‘’I wrote to all  African  Leaders, recommending you  for the  position in 2015, despite coming from different political persuasions  and I will not withhold my support for you this time around’’, he had assured him.. This may have gladdened Adesina’s heart who was  said to have left the Villa a happy person back to Abidjan, the Capital of CotedÍvore and the Headquarters of the AfDB.

 True to his words the prsident  was said to have reached out to the leadership of the African Union, AU, who were said to have endorsed  Adesina, the incumbent AfDB Prsident as the sole Candidate despite the opposition of the US.

 Recall that some other  countries  from Europe, Middle East, Asia, North and South America which also have shares in the Africa Lender Bank, had teamed up with  the US, to call for an Independent Investigation of the allegations raised  against Adesina, the AfDB President   by the aggrieved parties.  

Hajia Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning , may have spoken the mind of  of the Nigerian  President who is not happy with allegations leveled   against  Adesina,  by the whistle –blowers and aggrieved Staff,    was said to had  urged  the Board of Governors of the Bank to ignore  the calls  for an Independent  Investigation of the AfDB President, an indication o the government daring the Us govrnment.

Ndidi Elumelu,  a former member of the House of Representatives, who could not hid his feelings noted that after the Bank Ethics Committee had cleared Adesina, the AfDB President  of the alleged charges, against him,  the US, has no moral justification to pile up pressure on 55 –year old Financial Institution   to seek for a re-trial of the case, ostensibly to force Adesina out of office and whittle  down Nigeria influence in the Bank.

An aggrieved Elumelu was said to have asked the Femi Gbajabiamila led House  to investigate the allegations which he described as’ trump up’, urging the government and all other African  leaders to intervene in the crisis to save the situation from degenerating. He averred that ‘’if  this sort of witch-hunt and unnecessary harassment  is not  quickly checked  and discouraged, it may become a recurring decimal, in the Bank’’, that  will destroy  the  goodwill which the Bank had enjoyed over the years.

Recall that former Presidnts Olusegun Obasanjo and  Jonathan,, who threw up Adesina into prominence, as his minister of Agricure and Rural development  where he distinguished  himself, had teamed up with thirteen other African Leaders tosupport  the AfDB president in order to continue his good work in the Bank.   

The Board of governors of the 55-year old African Financial Institution  were said to have met last Tuesday  at Abidjan  to discuss  whether  to bring in an outside investigator  into the allegations  concerning  Adesina, the AfDB  President over his  running of the African Lender Bank  as demanded by the US and some other Foreign stakeholders which had  rejected  an initial inquiry that cleared him.

As at press time , it could not be ascertained the decision that had been reached  on the matter by the Board of the 80 member Bank. Political  Observers  fear that the decision that might be taken by the Board of governors may make or mar the AfDB. 

Stephen Ubanna

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