President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has cried to President Muhammadu Buhari to save him from detractors, with the United States of America in the forefront, who are determined to tarnish his name and that of the AfDB.
Adesina, who visited President Buhari today, June 2, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, insisted that he had not done anything wrong to warrant the kind of negative posturing put up by the US and its allies.
The AfDB boss, who got the assurance of Buhari of his support for his second term in office, narrated the circumstances leading to the current controversies, saying 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.”
According to him, after the Ethics Committee of the bank had cleared him of all the allegations, calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.
“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.”
Dr. Adesina, who was Nigeria’s minister of agriculture under the government of President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said that he is proud to be Nigerian even as he 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.
While commiserating with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, Dr Adesina described Professor Ibrahim Gambari, new Chief of Staff as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”
The President assured Dr. Adesina of his unflinching support for his second term, adding: “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.”
President 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 record of his achievements during his first term.
The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as 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.