Nigeria: Okonjo Iweala - Obiano Lambasts Trump Asks Buhari to Act

30 October 2020

Following report of its continued opposition of the emergence of Nigeria's candidate for the World Trade Organisation, WTO, Director-General, DG, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, governor of Anambra state, Dr Willie Obiano has condemned U.S decision, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilize African and European Union leaders to back Okonjo Iweala.

A report published on Bloomberg revealed US position on the Okonjo-Iweala's candidacy.

The Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea, purportedly said U.S. could not support a consensus decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala. Shea said the U.S. disagreed with the way in which the process was being carried out, according to sources.

Similarly, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has pushed for South Korea's candidate, Yoo Myung-hee.

Giving reasons, Lighthizer reportedly said he viewed Okonjo-Iweala as being too close to pro-trade internationalists in Washington like Robert Zoellick, a former USTR who worked with Okonjo-Iweala when he was President of the World Bank.

But in a statement signed by C. Don Adinuba, Anambra commissioner for information, obtained by TheCable, Obiano said: "All that is needed is a great diplomatic offensive before the formal announcement of the winner on November 9.

"The people and government of Anambra State, therefore, call upon President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders to immediately set in motion the machinery to get the United States to do the right thing by supporting the most qualified and the most popular candidate.

"The Trump administration wants South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, who has the support of only 55 nations, about 50 per cent of Okonjo-Iweala's vote. It needs not to have its way.

"Earlier this year it opposed the re-election of Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Nigeria's former Minister of Agriculture and African Union's choice, as the African Development Bank President based on unsubstantiated allegations like nepotism," he said.

"It is difficult to understand why the Trump administration should be on a collision course with Africans on international assignments ... acts like this help fuel criticism that the administration may not be free of racism.

"The people and government of Anambra State are of the opinion that President Buhari needs to do more to urgently mobilise not just African leaders, but also the EU and, indeed, the rest of the world to get the United States to do the right thing."

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