Nigeria: ‘I remain fully focused on my mission at the AfDB,’ says Adesina

By Aurélie M'Bida

Posted on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 11:58
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), in Paris on 10 November 2021. © Damien Grenon for JA.

In a statement released on 17 May, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, announced that he will not be running in Nigeria’s next presidential election, which is scheduled for February 2023.

The rumours had become persistent in recent weeks. In particular after a coalition of various support groups had pleaded, in early May, for the current president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to run as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and thus in Nigeria’s next presidential election. However, the person concerned quickly responded with a formal letter.

“I am very touched by all those who have made enormous sacrifices, of their own free will, to consider me worthy of being put forward for potential consideration. The coalition groups of youths, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-meaning Nigerians who did this, expressed their true will, political right, freedom of expression and association for me to be considered, in Nigeria’s interest,” Akinwumi Adesina said in his “non-candidacy statement,” thus emphasising the volume and diversity of his support.

The AfDB president also made it clear that he had “received several calls from Nigerians”, locally and throughout the diaspora, inviting him to run for the position of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

AfDB General Assemblies in focus

Nigeria’s agriculture minister between 2011 and 2015, before taking the reins of the influential pan-African development bank and being reappointed for a second five-year term in 2021, Adesina explained that he made this decision because of his current commitment at the AfDB.

“I remain fully committed and dedicated to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have entrusted to the Bank,” he said. He added: “I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting Africa’s accelerated development and economic integration.”

Less than a week before the institution’s annual meetings begin, which will be held in Accra from 23 to 27 May, will the AfDB president’s statement be enough to silence the rumours?

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