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President Akinwunmi Adesina’s Transition to his Second Term must be smooth to deliver his Covid-19 commitments to Africa

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by Dr. Patricia Laverley

There have been several calls for mediation between President Adesina and his critics, in the interest of a smooth re-election process and transition at the African Development Bank

This article is intended to highlight the recent achievements of the African Development Bank under President Akinwunmi Adesina, underscore the need for a smooth Presidential re-election, and highlight the contributions of the Bank to COVID-19 containment efforts across Africa.

The current President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina is set for his re-election in May next month, during the 2020 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, while many African countries will be struggling with containing the COVID-19 pandemic. The enormous achievements of President Adesina as Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and his first term as President of the African Development Bank since 2015, have greatly contributed to the strategic repositioning of Africa in the global economy.

Besides maintaining the African Development Bank’s “AAA” credit rating and increasing the net operating income of the Bank by 50 percent, President Adesina has helped to mobilize US$ 80 billion of new investment capital to support countries in Africa. For example, through the establishment of the Africa Investment Forum, the African Development Bank and its partners intend to leverage approximately US$ 300 billion of new private capital in Africa over the next 8 years.

In October 2019, the African Development Bank successfully completed an unprecedented 125 percent General Capital Increase (GCI-7), increasing the authorized share capital of the Bank from US$ 93 billion to US$ 208 billion, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964. ADB’s concessional window, the African Development Fund (ADF) was also increased by 35 percent, making more funds available to support low-income countries and economies in transition.

As a result of these achievements, President Adesina received unanimous support and endorsement by all 55 Heads of State and Government for his second term as President of the African Development Bank. This unanimous endorsement demonstrates the level of support that President Adesina has by all African Heads of State across the entire continent.

Need for a Smooth Presidential Re-election and Transition

By virtue of its corporate governance structure, the African Development Bank cannot be held hostage by any single individual. When an Executive Director, who is expected to provide managerial oversight of the Bank, assists in the preparation of allegations of breaches of the Bank’s Code of Conduct by the Bank’s President, one begs the question of the extent of professional integrity of the Executive Director. Could it be true, that some Non-regional Executive Directors appointed to serve on ADB’s Board are often former finance executives deliberately sent on exile from the capitals of their countries of origin, for one reason or the other?

To date, there have been several calls for mediation between President Adesina and his critics, in the interest of a smooth re-election process and transition at the African Development Bank. The United States still remains the second largest shareholder of the African Development Bank and President Adesina continues to receive overwhelming support from US government agencies and institutional partnerships.

The African Development Bank: Post COVID-19

Amidst the struggle of the COVID-19 containment effort and the need for macroeconomic stabilization across Africa, President Adesina, has remained focused on providing the much needed assistance to regional member countries and designing innovative financial instruments to help countries with the greatest need during this difficult period.  The African Development Bank, as Africa’s premier financial institution, has maintained its record of good governance and delivering crisis response programs to countries with the greatest need in a timely manner.

Moving forward, we hope that President Adesina will get re-elected for his second term in view of the overwhelming support he is receiving from both regional and non-regional member countries.  His more recent achievements in relation to COVID-19 include the launch of the US$3 billion COVID-19 Social Bond on March 26, and the US$10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility announced on April 8.

As we brace ourselves up for the changes envisaged in the post COVID-19 global financial architecture, we hope that President Adesina’s transition to his second term would be smooth, to enable him to successfully deliver on his commitments to Africa and help the continent reposition itself in the new era.

We remain resolute in our unflinching support of President Adesina and trust that the global development community would join us in endorsing his second term as President of the African Development Bank.

Dr. Patricia Laverley is the Deputy Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone.

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COLUMNISTS

RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale:The ‘Greek’ Proposal to Goodluck Jonathan

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yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 08054699539 (text only)
The scheming by some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari to have former President Goodluck Jonathan run on the platform of the All Progressives Congress for President in 2023 is progressing.
One can safely say that it is now full blown, fuelled by power intrigues and permutations. Some of the APC governors behind the scheme turned out for Jonathan’s 63th birthday nine days ago. Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru are top on the list.
For these schemers, Jonathan’s candidacy will satisfy the increasing clamour for power shift to the South-east. They want to mask him as an Igbo man. After all, he has “Ebele and Azikiwe” as part of his name. Jonathan is expected to be harmless to the interest of this group and that of the North, and as such, the right person to take over from Buhari. Again, Jonathan is a good product for these plotters because he would be entitled to just one term. So, power can shift to the North quickly. For these conspirators, Jonathan is a safe bet, very amiable gentleman, who will not rock the boat. He represents the shortest route for the north to regain power. They also say Buhari can trust him and that there is a growing friendship between them. Buhari is still struggling to recover from how Jonathan accepted defeat and handed over power to him in 2015. They say he would be so happy to hand back power to Jonathan.
Well, Jonathan has not responded to all these 2023 pressure. If I were him, I will reject this Greek gift and continue to enjoy my retirement in peace. This proposal is an attempt to ruin all that he has achieved. Jonathan is not an Igbo man and cannot be an Igbo man. He cannot take over the slot of the South-east. Honestly, Presidential power should rotate to the South-east for fair play and political inclusiveness.
This country has been unfair to this region for so long and it should end in 2023. Jonathan should not allow himself to be used as a tool to scuttle the dreams of the South-east. Those offering him this Greek gift are just out to protect their selfish interest. The GEJ I know will most likely resist this temptation.
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COLUMNISTS

RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale: Ransom to Kidnappers now Certified in Nigeria

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 yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 08054699539 (text only)
The accounts of how families of the abducted students of Ahmadu Bello University negotiated with kidnappers, visited them in the forest and made payments to secure the release of their children are worrisome. In sound societies, the leadership of the security agencies along that axis would have been sacked. The nine students were abducted with scores of others on the notorious Kaduna-Abuja highway on November 15 and were kept in the forest for five days. Parents of the ABU 9 had to lead the drive to free their children because of the lackadaisical attitude of the security agents. When the traumatised families eventually struck a deal with the kidnappers, they were asked to congregate in a forest in Chikun Local Government Area and given directions into the specific location of the kidnappers. The kidnappers were so bold. Our security agents were the least of their worries. They went about the deal unperturbed about our so-called policemen and other security agents.
Imagine families going to pay kidnappers for the release of their loved ones and security agents on duty near the kidnappers’ den wishing them well. Yes, that was what happened to the families of the ABU 9. Security operatives along the corridor saw them heading into the forest and wished them luck. One of the parents remarked: “We met with security agents who were patrolling the area while on our way and they asked us where we were going to because it was late at night. We told them we were on our way to pay for the release of our relatives and the security agents wished us good luck.”
Security agents around the kidnappers den in Chikun Local Government were just having fun. I doubt if tracking and apprehending the kidnappers were part of their briefing. They simply looked the other way while parents of the ABU 9 continued their journey into the den of the kidnappers on November 20. It was so depressing. Clearly, this country is in a big security mess. That the venue for the ransom to the kidnappers is near the Kaduna State NYSC camp is even more upsetting. Another parent of the ABU 9 explains: “If you are travelling to Abuja from Kaduna, immediately after the NYSC camp, there is a solar light at a small village called Dutse. By the side, there is a tarred road that goes into Gwagwada but before we got to Gwagwada, there is a road that will lead you to Maro village. It was on our way to Maro that we were diverted into the forest. We are in serious trouble in this country because this thing happened just close to the NYSC camp.” This is happening in my beloved Nigeria.
It is so sad that the kidnappers were communicating with families of the victims via GSM phones for days and yet, security agents did not bother to track them. The abductors demanded a cumulative ransom of N270 million, asking each parent to provide N30 million. They eventually paid between N500,000 and N1,000,000. This is the level Nigeria has degenerated.
It seems there is an official endorsement of ransom to kidnappers. Security agents stand by and even advise families of victims to negotiate well. What else should Nigerians expect when families of security agents also pay to free officers abducted? Back in September, a 33-year-old officer of the Department of State Services, Sadiq Bindawa, who was on a visit to his native Katsina, was traced to his house and abducted. His colleagues at the DSS offices in Katsina and in Abuja could not save him. He was killed even after his family and friends paid N5 million to his abductors. Bindawa worked at the DSS HQ in Abuja. Last September, an army officer, Colonel S.B Onifade was abducted on the Kaduna-Abuja highway and his family/friends paid N10 million to the kidnappers. But Onifade was still killed.
The truth that must be told is that abductions and killings will persist if this government continues to keep the leadership of all security agencies in this country. Leadership has failed our security agents. Besides, our police, DSS, military and the rest are poorly equipped and poorly motivated. As a result, evil people will continue to abduct, rape, collect ransom and will hardly be apprehended. I am shocked that guilt is not gnawing the souls of those charged with the responsibility of protecting hapless Nigerians. Those being paid to protect us are not ashamed of their unending failings. The leadership of the security agencies persistently come out bald-headed, claiming to be on top of the situation, whereas, they are far away from it. I often grimace at their words. Our security agents show frightening ineptitude. We often see captors communicate with families of victims for weeks; yet, security agents are unable to track and smoke them out. Even President Buhari does not know the way out of this security mess.
The latest in Nigeria’s orgy of killings is the murder of a first class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi last Thursday by unknown gunmen. Last Sunday, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State, Philip Tatari Shekwo was kidnapped in his house and murdered. His body was dumped few meters from his residence at Anguwar Bukan -Sidi in Lafia metropolis last Sunday. In Rivers State, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Ebenezer Kalabo Amah, was abducted in his house and murdered.
In Kaduna State, an activist, Rabiu Awwal was killed by bandits during an attack in his community on November 20. In Katsina State, bandits attacked PDP’s Chairman in Sabuwa Local Government, Lawal Dako, and shot him severally. He later died from the injuries. The granddaughter of the slain party council chairman was also shot and killed by the bandits during the attack. Last Monday, kidnappers entered Ahmadu Bello University, unhindered and abducted an official of the school at his residence at Main Campus, Samaru. As in previous cases, almost all these killers and kidnappers will never be apprehended. What a country!
While the kidnappings and killings in my beloved Nigeria pour, the level of clumsiness of our security agencies is sickening. A total overhaul is necessary if we want result. To do this, the present leadership of the security agencies must make way for a result- oriented one that will address the issues of leadership, equipment and quality manpower. As for our President, he should be ashamed of this security mess. The buck stops on his table. He should shape in or ship out.
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Lekki Shootings: Resign now, you are an embarrassment to Nigeria, Jumu’ah tells AGF Malami

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www.securenigeria365.com
A Social Commentator and Human Rights Journalist, Jumu’ah Abiodun, has advised the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federal, Mr Abubakar Malami, to resign his position for misleading the world after Lekki toll plaza shootings at #EndSARS protesters by military officers.
Jumu’ah via his Instagram handle today berated Malami after Nigerian Army represented by the Commander of the 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, last week admitted military officers took live and blank bullets to the Lekki toll gate in Lagos the venue where #EndSARS protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against police brutality.
“AGF Malami is a disgrace to this country and his office, he misinformed the world on the Lekki shootings by military officers at peaceful #EndSARS protesters, its outrageous. In saner climes, he ought to have resigned by now”
“I, therefore, enjoin Mallam Malami to honourably resign his position as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation because he misled the world over Lekki shootings for lying hoodlums were possibly involved in the shootings.”
AGF Malami had during an interaction with journalists on Monday, November 3 in Abuja stated that hoodlums were possibly involved in the shootings. “You cannot rule out the possibility of perhaps hoodlums that set in to create a scene…could equally partake in the process,” Malami quoted.
The activist also asked the UK, US, Canada and EU to place Malami and his family on a visa restriction ban. “As a further penalty for his blatant lies, I urge the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and European Union governments to take a drastic step and place a visa restriction ban on Mr Abubakar Malami and his family.”
Commenting on Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigerian Army statements since October 20, 2020, Black Tuesday event, the activist said: “From the very first day after Lekki shootings, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Nigerian Army are not consistent with their statements.”
“Their first statements read: We were not at the Lekki toll gate – Nigerian Army.
Forces beyond our direct control shot at protesters at the Lekki toll gate – Mr Sanwo-Olu.”
“Later they said: The CCTV cameras were not shut down, the recordings will be available – Mr Sanwo-Olu.
The CCTV did not capture Lekki Shooting – LCC.”
“Later, the Nigerian Army told us: We were there, but we didn’t shoot at protesters.
Addressing Nigerians, Mr Sanwo-Olu said: #EndSARS protesters were shot at but only got injured, no casualties.”
“I don’t have the power to order soldiers, Sanwo-Olu said during a live TV interview.
The Governor invited us to the Lekki toll gate – Nigerian Army in an official statement.”
Jumu’ah showered encomium on American based Cable News Network (CNN) for doing a great job in revealing more details on the Lekki toll gate event. “CNN remains one of the best and credible news platforms in the world. I always participate in the CITIZEN by CNN where we analyze issues with facts, not hypotheses as claimed by the Nigerian government,” he cited.
He concluded: “CNN has done a fantastic job with the documentaries, they revealed details of bullets used at the Lekki shootings, the person that died. Nigerian government should prove CNN wrong if they have any other information aside from that, not threatening CNN.”
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