AKINWUMI ADESINA, 62, a Nigerian economist, presently, serves as President, African Development Bank, AfDB. A distinguished professional, core technocrat and astute leader. He served as former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was in Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council under two former Nigerian presidents, before he was elected President, AfDB, in 2015 and re-elected for second term in 2019.
As a notable Nigeria citizen, Adesina earned for himself, honours. As top 100 most influential Africans, by New African magazine, 2015; Forbes Africa Person of the Year, 2015, 2019; Honorary Doctorate Degree, Afe Babalola University, Nigeria, 2018; Honorary Doctor of Science, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, 2020; Honorary Doctorate Degree, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2022; for his contributions to the field of economics.
Nigeria is presently, engulfed in the commotion of dozens of presidential ambitious persons, ahead of the 2023 election. Many of the aspirants, by observers’ ratings, may be politically relevant within their locality. But by all indications, are misfits for the presidential race, though it is within their constitutional rights to contest election into the highest public office in the country. Yet, they nurse presidential ambition to rule over a country of about 200 million, politically, conscious citizens.
Akinwumi Adesina is one of those being pressured, propped and caught in the web of the present title ambitious 2023 presidential aspirants in Nigeria. A group of persons, perhaps, without his knowledge, purchased N100 million, 2023 presidential expression of interest and nomination form, and urged him to present himself for the presidential race, on the platform of ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
The agitators for Adesina’s presidency, believe he could be the right man and adequately qualified for the job. They may not be wrong. Adesina’s stride and achievements, caped with his present performance as President of Africa Development Bank, AfDB, speak for him. Tenaciously, the group launched campaign to pressure Adesina to pick up the N100 million presidential expression of interest and nomination form and contest for 2023 election in Nigeria.
ADESINA’S CAMPAIGNERS CARROT, to endear him into the presidential race, is for him to abandon his present prestigious appointment in AfDB, the mission Nigeria, Africa and non-African shareholders of AfDB, entrusted on him for the development of Africa; and jump into Nigeria’s muddy 2023 presidential race.
While the voice of the group campaigning for Adesina’s presidency got louder, the man in the eye of the storm was silent. There was suspense. Not even his close associates could read his body language. He knows what is best for him. And Adesina took his time to address the issue.
Tuesday, May 17, 2023, Adesina personally released a statement titled: “Statement By Dr Akinwunmi Adesina President, African Development Bank”, and gave reasons while he cannot run for Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. The current responsibility he holds as AfDB, Adesina said, would not make him available to contest Nigeria’s presidency.
Adesina’s words: “I have been extremely humbled by several calls from Nigerians at home and abroad that I should consider running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am very touched by all who have gone to great extent, with such huge sacrifices, of their own volition, to consider me worthy to be proposed for potential consideration”.
He said the group of “youth, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-meaning Nigerians”, who raised the N100 million to purchase the presidential form, “have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression and association for my consideration, with the interest of Nigeria at heart”.
Adesina added that he was “deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence”, showed to him. But said that his “current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to be considered”.
He said he “remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development”. And “remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa.”
Observers say Adesina demonstrated epitome of humility, modesty and decency. A rare gem and a focused professional. Unlike his counterparts in Nigeria