AfDB: Nigeria behind you, Buhari tells Adesina
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has assured the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, of Nigeria’s support in his bid to get re-elected as the bank’s president.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday.
The statement quoted the President as speaking at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, while hosting Adesina on a courtesy visit, where he also told the AfDB’s president that “Nigeria will stand solidly behind” him.
“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 Peoples Democratic Party Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress, 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 said.
The President pledged that Nigeria would work with other leaders and stakeholders in the AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term.
Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina 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 Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, adding that calls for a 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,” Adesina added.
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 noted.