AfDB election: Buhari pledges full support for Adesina

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    AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina

    PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Nigerian born President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, as he seeks re-election.

    In Abuja on Tuesday, when he hosted Adesina at the Presidential Villa, Buhari pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

    Presidential media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, noted in a statement, that Buhari told the AfDB president that, “in 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.

    President Muhammadu Buhari and President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina (left)

    “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.’’

    The African Union (AU) had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.

    Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said 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.”

    He added that the bank’s Ethics Committee cleared him of all allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.

    He said: “My defense 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.”

    While 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 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 said.

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