AfDB Presidency: Buhari Leverages On Atiku’s Influence As He Lobbies For Adesina

The African Development Bank (AfDB)

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has continued where President Goodluck Jonathan has gotten to in getting support for the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his quest to become the next President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In view of this, Buhari has sent former vice-president Atiku Abubakar to South Africa to seek the support of President Jacob Zuma.

A statement by Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday said Atiku’s shuttle diplomacy to drum support for the Nigerian candidate followed a mandate from the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the statement, Buhari asked Atiku to leverage on his contacts to lobby for the emergence of Adesina.

“His Excellency former Vice President Atiku Abubakar met President Zuma in the company of Dr Akinwumi Adesina during which the directive of Buhari was conveyed to Zuma.

“The issue of South Africa and the Southern African region’s support for Nigeria’s candidate was exhaustively discussed and well appreciated,” the statement read.

Buhari who had last month expressed support for Adesina said it much more than out of patriotism. “Dr. Adesina has a proven track record in a career that predates his position as Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.”

Adesina is one of the five candidates that have been shortlisted for the AFDB job. Apart from Adesina, there is Ethiopia’s Finance Minister, Sufian Ahmed, Cape Verdean Finance Minister, Cristina Kamara, currently Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank, Birama Sidibe and Chad’s Finance Minister, Kordjé Bedoumra.

According to the AfDB Board, the shortlist was of the most eligible candidates to succeed President Donald Kaberuka was done by a Steering Committee of the Board of Governors at a meeting held in Abidjan on 11 Feb. Kaberuka is currently serving his second five-year term as AfDB President.

The elections are slated for May 2015.

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