The umbrella body of farmers in Nigeria, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), has declared support for the second term candidacy of embattled African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina.
National President of AFAN, Farouq Rabiu Mudi, expressed the support in a letter dated 12 June, 2020, and addressed to the AfDB chief.
AgroNigeria had reported that a group of “concerned staff” at AfDB had accused Adesina of unethical misconduct, allegations he had repeatedly denied, declaring his innocence. The Bank’s Ethics Committee and Board of Governors had cleared Adesina of any wrong-doing, but the United States of America unilaterally resisted this measure.”
By a subsequent decisive reaffirmation of the outcome of its internal governance audit of the President, the Bank’s Board of Governors deferred to the United States by accepting an Independent Review of its governance process which led to the decision to acquit Adesina of wrongdoing.
Mudi in the letter, however, noted that there were efforts to tarnish the banker’s reputation. He wrote, “I write in solidarity as a proud member of our great association (AFAN) for your re-election as President of the African Development Bank.
“This is in view of your immense contributions in Agricultural transformation during your tenure as Honourable Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development. You have restored farmers’ confidence since way back in 2010 when we hardly produce our own food. Describing Adesina as “an icon of hope whose efforts is recognized not only locally but internationally”, the AFAN President recalled that the AfDB President introduced transparency into the Nigerian government’s fertilizer supply system, a feat which won him the World Food Prize.
The AFAN president also noted that the support Adesina had received from Nigerians and from around the world is an indication of his innocence in spite of attempts to tarnish his reputation and prejudice AfDB’s governance procedures. “As the first Nigerian to attain this great height, we pledge our full support for your second tenure as President of the African Development Bank.
“You are known to have broken many records during your studies back in the 80s, it is not a surprise anymore to have done the same at AfDB.
“The All Farmers Association of Nigeria under my leadership is fully with you. At this juncture, I want to reassure you that Nigerian farmers’ confidence in you is immeasurable,” the AFAN President concluded.