Nigeria has commenced a high-powered diplomatic shuttle to drum support for the candidacy of Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, as the next President of the African development Bank (AfDB).
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar over the weekend commenced lobby for the candidacy of the Minister of Agriculture as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). President-elect Buhari, who backs the candidacy of Mr. Adesina, had last month conveyed his support to the President of Ghana, John Mahama, when the two leaders met in Abuja.
The tenure of the bank’s president expires on May 25 with a replacement for election at the Annual General Meeting of the Bank scheduled for Abidjan.
“Atiku’s shuttle diplomacy to shore up much-needed support for the Nigerian candidate follows a mandate from President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari to the former Vice President to leverage on his contacts to lobby for the emergence of Adesina,” a statement from the Atiku Media Office in Abuja said.
According to the statement, Atiku travelled with Adesina to South Africa over the weekend where the two met with President Zuma at the Presidential Residence in Durban.
It said: “His Excellency former Vice President Atiku Abubakar met President Zuma in the company of Dr Akinwumi Adesina during which the directive of President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari was conveyed to Zuma.
The issue of South Africa and the Southern African region support for Nigeria’s candidate was exhaustively discussed and well appreciated.”
Those contesting the position are Akinwumi A. Adesina (Nigeria); Sufian Ahmed (Ethiopia); Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia); Kordjé Bedoumra (Chad); Cristina Duarte (Cape Verde); Samura M. W. Kamara (Sierra Leone); Thomas Z. Sakala (Zimbabwe) and Birama Boubacar Sidibé (Mali).
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