Obasanjo, Jonathan, Kufour, 12 ex-African leaders back Adesina
Some former African leaders including Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan have expressed their support for the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
In a statement signed by some of the past presidents, they said Adesina had been doing a remarkable job in steering the organisation.
Part of the statement reads, “The bank announced a $10bn crisis response facility to support countries in Africa. The bank also successfully launched a $3bn “fight COVID-19 social bond, the largest ever US dollar denominated bond in world history.
“Powered by his vision and leadership, the shareholders of the bank from 80 countries all approved a general capital increase of $115bn for the bank, the largest in its history since establishment in 1964.
“The bank has been doing a lot for women, with a $3bn fund to provide access of finance to women, supported by G7 countries and Africa.”
Some of the past presidents that backed Adesina included Olusegun Obasanjo, (President of Nigeria; 1999-2007); Boni Yayi (President of Benin; 2006-2016); Hailemariam Desalegn (Prime Minister of Ethiopia; 2012 – 2018); John Kufour (President of Ghana; 2001 – 2009); Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia; 2006 – 2018); Joyce Banda (President of Malawi; 2012 – 2014); and Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique; 1986 – 2005).
Other are Tandja Mamadou (President of Niger; 1999 – 2010); Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria; 2010-2015); and Mohamed Marzouki (President of Tunisia; 2011 – 2014); and Benjamin Mkapa (President of Tanzania; 1995 – 2005).
The letter was endorsed by Ameenah Gurib-Fakin (President of Mauritius; 2015 – 2018); Rupiah Banda (President of Zambia; 2008 – 2011); Kgalema Motlanthe (President of South Africa; 2008-2009); and Jakaya Kikwete (President of Tanzania; 2005 – 2015).
Obasanjo had on Thursday written to the former heads of state, asking them to rally behind Adesina and reject interference from the United States.
Also, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on Friday condemned a recent call for an external investigation into the allegations against Adesina, saying such foreign influence amounted to imperialism and colonialism.
The TUC in a release by its President, Quadri Olaleye, and its Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, noted that a bank that had served the interests of African countries for over 55 years should not be allowed to be influenced by external and foreign powers.
The TUC said, “By this development, we are tempted to believe that there is more to the whole issue. What more can we say if the report of AfDB Ethics Committee clearing Adesina of all allegations of corruption and favouritism is being rejected?
“We sense an outright breach and violation of a process which may disrupt activities of the bank if allowed to fester.
“AfDB is a regional bank; therefore, non-regional member countries of the bank should not be allowed to form clog on the wheel of the progress of the continent.
“It beats our imagination that the United States, being one of the oldest democracies with absolute regard for due process, would champion such a call.
“We call on African leaders to rise up and defend the continent for once. The time has come for Africa to stand for something.”
Asserting that neo-colonialism was still with Africa, the TUC said it was rejecting outright imperialism.