By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja – Over 52 commodity associations under the auspices of the Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) have endorsed the reelection bid of Dr Akinwumi Adesina as President of African Development Bank (AfDB).
The National Deputy President of the association, Mr Sheriff Balogun, made this known at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Balogun said that the allegation of corruption leveled against Adesina was mere witch-haunt and an attempt to dent an image he had built over time.
According to him, Adesina has worked hard to impact positively on the lives of many across Africa and beyond.
He said that the association was declaring its unwavering support for the AfDB president and asking him not to be deterred by efforts to make him back out of the reelection bid.
“We commend the effort to uphold the result of the Bank’s Ethics Committee on spurious allegations leveled against Adesina.
“Based on our knowledge of his person, we can categorically state that the whistle-blowers’ remarks were merely trumped up to discredit Adesina.
“To us, he has always been known as a ruthless achiever of set objectives.
“It will be recalled that he completely overhauled fertiliser racketeering operations in Nigeria while he was Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“His landmark achievements in transforming the agricultural sector, to this day remain exemplary,” he said.
The national deputy president further noted that “indeed, same can be said about his bold and unprecedented reforms at the AfDB since 2015.
“Adesina’s visionary leadership has in the course of five years ensured that the African Development Bank is strategically positioned, globally and regionally to steer the development agenda of Africa,”he said.
Balogun noted that Adesina’s excellent performance as president of the bank, particularly his effort to drive significant investments into Africa had substantially repositioned the continent for revolutionary accomplishments.
He urged the Bureau of Board of Governors to continue to objectively oversight the operations of the bank without distractions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adesina is seeking re-election after his first tenure of five years which ends in September as AfDB President.
However, there were allegations of ethical breaches levelled against him by some whistleblowers.
There were 16 allegations of breach of the bank’s code of conduct, contained in a petition brought before the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors by a “Group of Concerned Staff” of the Bank.
The development has led to reactions from African Heads of Government and stakeholders across the globe with some endorsing his reelection bid. (NAN)