President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)
The President spoke at State House, Abuja, while hosting Dr Adesina on a courtesy visit.
The President 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.
Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Dr 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 Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.
The U.S. has a 6.5% stake in the AfDB, the largest shareholding after Nigeria, which held 9.1% as of November. The 56-year-old institution allowed non-regional countries to join in 1982, and now has 54 shareholders from Africa and 27 from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Members in October pledged to provide funding that will more than double the AfDB’s capital base to $208 billion.
He pointed out that his defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.
He stated that the law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. Notinh that It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations. That was the end of the matter, according to the rules.
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.