The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, has confirmed he will not be contesting in the 2023 presidential elections.
The PUNCH had reported that a support group purchased and submitted the N100m Presidential form of the All Progressives Congress for the top banker last week.
He released a statement on Tuesday titled, ‘Statement by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank’.
In the statement, Adesina said his current responsibility as the AfDB’s president won’t make him available to contest Nigeria’s presidency.
The statement read,
“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 a great extent, with such huge sacrifices, of their own volition, to consider me worthy to be proposed for potential consideration.
“The coalition groups of youth, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-meaning Nigerians that have done this
have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression, and association for my consideration, with the interest of Nigeria at heart.
“While I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to be considered.
“I 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.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa.”
The AfDB’s regulations bar its President from partisan politics.
Specifically, Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the agreement establishing AfDB, titled ‘Prohibition of Political Activity; the International Character of the Bank’, states that “The Bank, its President, Vice Presidents, officers, and staff shall not interfere in the political affairs of any member (country); nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the political character of the member (country) concerned.”
Paragraph 3 of the article states that “The President, Vice Presidents, officers and staff of the Bank, in discharge of their offices, owe their duty entirely to the Bank and to no other authority.”
Similarly, the AfDB code of conduct bars its executive from partisan politics. Section 10 of the Code reads: “Although Executive Directors are elected representatives of governments from their constituencies, they shall during their tenure of office as executive directors refrain from participating in active politics in their home countries or elsewhere.”