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Obasanjo Cautions US In Written Letter Over AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, Urges African Leaders To Speak Against Alien Practices

Valentine Chinyem

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Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the United States Government’s call on the African Development Bank to allow a fresh independent probe of Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the bank.

According to the former leader, who urged the board of governors of the bank to speak up against the move by the US.

In a letter dated May 26 to Kaba Niale, Chairman of the AfDB board of governors, Obasanjo urged the organisation to follow laid down procedure to protect and preserve the bank.

He said African leaders ought to speak against introduction of alien practices being recommended by some parties, adding that it falls outside the laid down procedures, laws, rules and regulations of the bank.

He said, “Unfortunately, the United States 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.

“Instead of accepting the exoneration of the President of the bank, they called for an independent investigation.

“This is outside of the rules, laws, procedures and governance systems of the bank. The US Treasury Secretary disparaged the bank and ridiculed the entire governance system of the bank which has been in place since 1964.

“This is unprecedented in the annals of the African Development Bank Group. 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.

“As Africa faces COVID-19, Dr Adesina again took bold measures to ensure the bank can respond proactively to support African countries and got its board of directors to approve a $10bn crisis response facility to support African countries. In addition, the bank successful launched a $53bn “Fight COVID-19” social impact bond on the international capital market, secured at 0.75 per cent interest rate.”

See copy of letter below: