AfDB presidency: Buhari’s phone calls to global leaders shaped my election, says Adesina


THE newly elected President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, yesterday spoke of President Muhammadu Buhari’s role in his election.

Adesina said Buhari made vital phone calls to global leaders in respect of the position that resulted in his emergence as the AfDB President, noting that the outcome of the race would have been different were it not for him.

The ex-minister of Agriculture and Rural Development under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration spoke at the Oke-Mosan Governor’s Office, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he visited Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

He added that other notable Nigerians, including former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and others stood behind him.
Adesina noted that the dream and vision of African countries are one and pledged to use his office as president of the continental bank “to develop Africa, fight poverty, develop infrastructure and revive rural economies”.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate President Buhari on his election and his inauguration. I want to thank him tremendously for the support that he gave me on the run for the presidency of the African Development Bank.

“Without that support and without him personally engaged in making calls to critical global leaders in the last days of the election, I don’t think we might have seen the result we saw today.
“I want to really thank the President tremendously for his support and for his commitment and to helping make sure we got that victory.

“Obviously, I couldn’t have also been here, except the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, nominated me. I feel tremendously humbled with that nomination and supported me tremendously by putting a lot of weight behind me.

“I want to thank particularly, former Vice President Namadi Sambo who also went with me to different parts of Africa in mobilising support. Also former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who also was in the frontline of actually pushing and helping us.

“So tremendous amount of goodwill that we had. The National Assembly was great, the press was generous, and all Nigerians, it is not about me, it is about our country and we are a great country.
He added: “I want to assure you that I as the president of the bank, by the grace of God, poverty would not be the comparative advantage of Africa and we would work very hard to develop programmes that would end poverty on this continent, that would lead people out of it and create opportunities for shared prosperity all across our continent.

“Obviously, I think critical issues of infrastructure would be important, energy for all would be important, electricity would be important, very critical to build private sector and to create wealth all across our continent.

“We want to ensure that we are able to create jobs for hundreds of millions of our people, instead of people going across this Sahara Desert or Mediterranean to go to Europe, we want to create job on this continent of Africa and we can do that.

“Also, I believe we must revive our rural economies and lift hundreds of our rural people that depend on agriculture out of poverty. So, getting agriculture to work as a business is going to be a big one that we are going to do for inclusive growth and also into regional integration.”

Dr. Adesina said his dream and vision for Africa is one, adding: “An Africa that is growing well, has a lot of shared prosperity and Africa where you have a lot of peace, stability and security, and one which is regionally integrated within ourselves, but also globally competitive in what we do.”



The Nation
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