Obasanjo, Jonathan And 13 Other Former African Leaders Back Akinwunmi, Call For Caution
Former Presidents of Nigeria,Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan have joined thirteen other former African leaders in throwing their weights behind the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), following a call for private investigations into his running of AfDB.
In a press statement made available to newsmen by the media aide to Chief Obasanjo, the past leaders extolled the works of the AfDB President – Akinwunmi Adesina and called for caution with regards to the allegations leveled against him.
The elder-statesmen while affirming the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,said the continent is facing an unprecedented challenge, stressing that at this time, all hands must be on deck to tackle the common foe.
“The African Development Bank (AfDB), under the leadership of its President, Dr. Adesina Akinwumi, has been doing a remarkable job in steering the organization.
“The Bank announced a $10 billion crisis response facility to support countries in Africa. The Bank also successfully launched a $3 billion “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 $115 billion for the Bank, the largest in its history since establishment in 1964. The Bank has been doing a lot for women, with a $3 billion fund to provide access of finance to women, supported by G7 countries and Africa.
“Across the continent, the Bank’s presence and work have been highly visible and impactful. In less than five years, the Bank’s High 5 agenda has impacted over 333 million people, from access to electricity, food security, access to finance via the private sector, improve transport and access to water and sanitation.
“The Bank has maintained its stellar AAA rating among all global rating agencies. The shareholders of the Bank have all played very important roles in supporting the Bank to achieve these impressive results,” the leaders stated.
The former Presidents raised concerns over alleged violations of the bank’s code-of-conduct, the premise upon which the United States is calling for a fresh independent probe.
“This is why we are concerned with the recent developments at the Bank, Dr. Adesina, who some whistle-blowers alleged to have violated the Banks’ Code-of-Ethics, has firmly and consistently declared his innocence regarding these allegations.
“The Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, a legal oversight body of the Bank, made up of representatives of shareholders, cleared Dr. Adesina of all 16 allegations, declaring them as baseless and unsubstantiated and exonerated him completely.
“The Chairman of the Board of Governors, based on the report of the Ethics Committee, declared Dr. Adesina exonerated. We understand that the Bank fully followed its rules, procedures and governing systems, which have served it well since African countries established it in 1964.
“Governance is all about respecting and abiding by rules, laws and established governing systems of organizations. In the case of the AfDB, while differences may exist among parties, the best way to address them is to first respect the rules, procedures and governance structures of the Bank. To do otherwise will be tantamount to undermining the Bank and its long and hard earned reputation, and that of its President.
“The African Development Bank is a pride for all of Africa, and its President, Dr. Adesina, has taken the Bank to enviable heights. At this critical time that Africa is battling with COVID-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted.
“Differences will always occur but we urge that all shareholders work together. All shareholders should work with mutual respect, and honour the rules and procedures of the Bank and its governance systems that have served it well for 56 years. No nation, regardless of how powerful, has a veto power over the African Development Bank, and no nation should have such power,” the past leaders’ statement partly read.
The following are the leaders who signed the letter in support of Mr Akinwunmi Adesina.
H.E Olusegun Obasanjo (President of Nigeria; 1999-2007)
H.E Boni Yayi (President of Benin; 2006-2016)
H.E Hailemariam Desalegn (Prime Minister of Ethiopia; 2012 – 2018)
H.E John Kufour (President of Ghana; 2001 – 2009)
H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia; 2006 – 2018)
H.E Joyce Banda (President of Malawi; 2012 – 2014)
H.E Joaquim Chissano (President of Mozambique; 1986 – 2005)
H.E Tandja Mamadou (President of Niger; 1999 – 2010)
H.E Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria; 2010-2015)
H.E Mohamed Marzouki (President of Tunisia; 2011 – 2014)
H.E Benjamin Mkapa (President of Tanzania; 1995 – 2005)
H.E Ameenah Gurib-Fakin (President of Mauritius; 2015 – 2018)
H.E Rupiah Banda (President of Zambia; 2008 – 2011)
H.E Kgalema Motlanthe (President of South Africa; 2008-2009)
H.E Jakaya Kikwete (President of Tanzania; 2005 – 2015)
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