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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Buhari to Adesina: I’ll stand by you as I did in 2015 despite your PDP

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)

The president spoke at the State House, Abuja, Tuesday, while hosting Mr Adesina.

“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,” said Mr Buhari.

The president pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Mr Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

Mr Adesina is facing allegations of corruption at the bank and is being investigated.

He denies the allegations and had earlier been cleared of the claims raised by a whistleblower group, but the United States, the bank’s second-largest shareholder after Nigeria, has called for an external probe.

The Nigerian government and other African leaders have been rallying support for Mr Adesina who is seeking a second five-year term.

Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Mr 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.

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