Nigeria: African Union Must Rise in Defence of AfDB Now - Aremu

African Development Bank President Adesina Akinwunmi, addressing a town hall meeting.

Labour leader and Vice President Industrial Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu, has called on Africa Union leaders to rise and fight for independence of African Development Bank (AfDB) against foreign influence.

The labour leader made the call during a media briefing yesterday in Kaduna on the repatriation of Almajiri, easing of COVID-19 lockdown and the development at the AfDB among others, commended African leaders like President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Obasanjo for rallying timely support for AfDB's independence and integrity.

He, however, said global trade unionists have been following the controversies around the long list of accountability, due process and human resource allegations against the management of the Bank under its current President, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, but United States of America cynically still insists on "a further probe despite the clean bill of health given to Mr. Adesina by the board of directors of the bank over sundry allegations.

The labour leader stressed that there is urgent need for a categorical position by Africa Union (AU) on the unfolding development within AfDB, especially as the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin audaciously did an open letter disagreeing with the conclusions of the ethics committee of the board of directors of AfDB.

According to him, "it is surprising that while the bank's African shareholders are satisfied with the findings of the Ethics Committee, the United States, a non-African with 6.5 per cent of the shares is insisting on a further probe despite the clean bill of health given to Mr. Adesina by the board of directors of the bank.

"Coming on the eve of the re-election bid of Mr. Adesina it is self-evident that America wanted to get him out of the Bank even when notable African shareholders made up of all the heads of state and governments of ECOWAS region had endorsed him for second term"

Aremu spoke further on Adesina's achievements that, "certainly Africa still suffers from huge financial deficits to meet its enormous development challenges. However there is no doubt that under then current activist leadership, the Bank has been mobilizing and allocating resources for investment and offering policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts."

The labour activist, who frowned at the repatriation of the Almajiri children to their states of origin, asked Northern Nigeria Governors to apologize for deporting Nigerians within their own country.

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