• ‘America’s Move’ll Be Counter-Productive On US-African Relations’
The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has declared that there would be no need for another probe of allegations leveled against its President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, which it had undertaken in line with the Board’s rules.
However, it said it is ready to hire an independent and internationally reputable agent to review its investigation and procedure to show the world how it arrived at its conclusion exonerating Dr. Adesina.
The Board’s position is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting by its Chairman, Ms. Niale Kabba. The Board’s position came on the same day the African Centre for Strategic Studies, Nigeria Chapter, advised the United States of America (US) against her insistence on a second probe of Adesina, saying the move would be counterproductive on her relationship with the Africa Continent.
“The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank rules an Independent Investigation is not required and stands by the decision of the Ethics Committee in favour of Adesina. Instead, an independent reviewer will take a look at the process by which the Ethics Committee reached its determination on Adesina’s behalf,” the communiqué said.
The review will last between two and four weeks to fall in line with its Electoral timeline fixed for August 2020.It explained that the indulgence of the review by the independent unbiased Reviewer was to assuage the concerns raised by a few Board Members requesting a second probe.
The African Centre for Strategic Studies, Nigerian Chapter, on the other hand, in a letter to the Director of the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, Washington D.C, America, appealed to her to bring it to the notice of the American Government through the Defense Secretary, that the insistence of the US Government on a second probe of the allegations against Dr. Adesina would spell bad blood in her relationship building efforts with Africa, particularly in view of the hard incursion by China into Africa.
In the letter by the Association’s President, Navy Commodore Abimbola Ayuba (rtd.) and Secretary, Kemi Okenyedo, the Association asked the United States to rethink the move in her larger interest in Africa.
The letter titled: ‘US stand on AfDB governance and implications on the U.S-Africa Relations: Call for ACSS intervention in the interest of the U.S.,’ reads in part: “This is an urgent call on you to use your good offices to highlight to relevant U.S authorities that the current U.S strategy at the African Development Bank (AfDB) has grave implications for U.S strategic relationship with Africa.
As your local partner, we appreciate the U.S waking up to the reality of China’s growing influence in Africa, and the U.S seeking measures to maintain a stronger presence on the continent than any other world power.
“Given a choice, Africa would prefer to do business with America than any other developed nation. But the relationship has to be built on mutual respect and partnership and not one of tactical bullying, or choking neck-hold.
“Most unfortunately, this new demand by the U.S, out of all the 80 other shareholders of the Bank, is highly offensive and unacceptable to the entire African continent, who collectively holds majority shares in the Bank as core owners of the Bank, and whom the Bank is particularly established to develop. As majority share owners of the Bank, African leaders and the AfDB Board of Governors respectively, did not find any evidence establishing prima facie case against Dr. Adesina, who is due for re-election in the next two months. African leaders perceive the U.S position, insisting on hiring an independent investigator, as outright meddlesomeness and deliberate attempt to blackmail and deny Dr. Adesina a well-deserved re-election for a second term.”