BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari says unwavering belief in Dr Akinwunmi Adesina as a good man informed the decision to support his emergence as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2015.
Also, he explained that Adesina’s re-nomination for a second term was based on his proven competence and representation as a good Nigerian ambassador during the first tenure.
Speaking when the re-elected AfDB President visited the State House, Abuja on Thursday, President Buhari congratulated him for emerging victorious, despite stiff opposition from some foreign interests.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying; “I congratulate you on your second and final term in office. Congratulations on winning the election. Nothing succeeds like success”.
“I have told so many people why I backed you,” President Buhari said, adding that; “In 2015, at your first term, you were a Minister with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, and I was of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“But you are a good Nigerian. So I recommended you the first time. You proved to be competent, you made us proud, and I recommended you the second time.”
The President lauded the AfDB Chief for generally backing Nigeria as well as Africa in all ramifications, noting that the country’s infrastructural deficits the country has in roads, rail, power, could not be overcome without support.
“There can’t be sustainable development without infrastructure. Our efforts should be seen in the context of lack of resources, but you do your best to support us. I wish you all the best in your final term,” President Buhari said.
The AfDB boss appreciated President Buhari and Nigerians for their total support, saying he was proud to be a Nigerian.
According to him, “Home is where dreams are born. Home is where nurturing is provided. It is where support is given for realization of dreams. I am glad to belong here.
“When I came in June, you received me, and I shared my successes, and the difficulties facing me. You listened, and said you would stand by me. And you did. You not only stood behind me, but also beside me. No greater honour for a man than for his Commander-in-Chief to be his Supporter-in-Chief, and his Defender-in-Chief”.
Noting that the country gave him air “when I badly needed it in my lungs,” Adesina promised to always support Nigeria in both his private capacity, and as the AfDB President.
Adesina overcame stiff opposition last month to win an unprecedented 100 per cent votes from the regionals and non-regionals that make up the Bank.
He was thereafter inaugurated for second term of five years as AfDB President on September 1, 2020