President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday congratulated Akinwumi Adesina on his re-election as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Adesina was unanimously returned as President earlier on Thursday during the bank’s 55th Annual Meetings, which is being held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In a statement signed by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said news of the victory came during the Council of State meeting, which was attended by former heads of state, Senate President, governors, some Ministers, and senior government officials.
“He deserves it,” President Buhari said, leading a round of applause, after Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, announced the good news to the Council.
“The President extends appreciation to the African Union for its endorsement of the AfDB President much earlier, and to shareholders of the bank who worked tirelessly to ensure the return of the visionary leader,” the Presidential statement said.
Adesina’s re-election was mired in controversy after he was charged with alleged ethical violations.
President Buhari met with Adesina in June 2020 amid investigation into the latter’s alleged ethical violations. He was later acquitted of all charges.
Amid the controversy, President Buhari endorsed Adesina, assuring him of the country’s support.
And, after repeated investigations, the former Nigerian Agriculture Minister was cleared of all charges levelled against him, paving the way for his re-election.
“President Buhari believes Dr Adesina’s versatility, experience at both national and international engagements, will be further deployed to energize the pan-African financial institution, urging him to remain focused and steadfast in pursuing the noble goals of making life better for Africans through various development plans, already captured as High 5s,” the Presidency statement added.
“The President rejoices with family, friends and professional colleagues of Dr Adesina over the re-election, while commending members of staff and Board of Governors of the AfDB for their consistent support for the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his management team.
“While pledging full support of his government to ensure a successful tenure for the AfDB leadership, President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will continue to strengthen Dr Adesina and his team for greater good to the continent.”