Adesina: They want to hijack AfDB from Africa – Obasanjo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has advised the board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to shun the demand for an independent probe of its President, Akinwumi Adesina.

The call was made by the United States Department of Treasury after Adesina was cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.

On Wednesday, the ex-Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister, said he was confident that ultimately, “the bank will emerge stronger than before and continue to support Africa’s development drive.”

In a letter to Kaba Niale, Chairman, AfDB Board of Governors, Obasanjo told the institution to protect AfDB.

Obasanjo urged African leaders to speak against the introduction of alien practices.

The former Nigerian leader stated that laws, rules and regulations, outside those of the bank must be ignored.

He noted that the U.S. Government, “through the US Treasury Secretary, has written a public letter (that was also distributed to the press globally) to disagree with the conclusions of the ethics committee of the board of directors and the Chairman of the board of governors of the bank”.

Obasanjo lamented that instead of accepting the exoneration of Adesina, “they called for an independent investigation”.

He insisted that this is outside the procedures and governance systems of the bank.

Obasano declared that the U.S. Treasury Secretary “disparaged the AfDB and ridiculed the entire governance system of the bank which has been in place since 1964”.

The former president stated that this is unprecedented in the annals of the African Development Bank Group.

He warned leaders in the continent that “if we do not rise up and defend the African Development Bank, this might mean the end of the African Development Bank, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa”.

Obasanjo reminded that as Africa faces COVID-19, Adesina took bold measures to ensure the bank can respond proactively to support African countries.

The former General recalled how Adesina got the board to approve a $10bn crisis response facility to support African countries.

He said in addition, AfDB successfully launched a $53bn “Fight COVID-19” social impact bond on the international capital market which was secured at 0.75 percent interest rate.

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