A rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday urged the United States President, Donald Trump, to call the country’s Executive Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Stephen Dowd, to order.
The US Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of alleged corruption against the AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, after he had been cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
The National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emma Onwubiko, who made the call in a statement in Abuja, said he didn’t believe the US could be directly involved in this crisis.
He, however, alleged that some individuals with clandestine agenda that was unfavourable to Africa were behind the plot to remove the AfDB chief.
The HURIWA coordinator insisted that if US fails to call its representative to order, it would expose the country to public ridicule and hurt American’s interest in Africa.
He added that the goal of those behind the plot was to discredit the candidacy of Adesina and stop his re-election bid.
Onwobiko said: “This is a distraction from the strong corporate governance structure that African Heads of State established at the Bank.
“We vehemently frown at attempts to mislead and arm-twist the Treasury Secretary of the United States to discredit the internal governance system put in place by the founders of the Bank.
“By misleading the Treasury into his personal battle, the US executive director has displayed desperation and confirmed the popular belief that he was indeed the unseen hand in the petitions against President Adesina.
“HURIWA affirmed that there are empirical data that have shown that the Bank has done tremendously well under President Adesina since he assumed office in 2015.
“It must be restated that it was in recognition of this sterling stewardship that the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have unanimously endorsed Adesina for a second term in office.
“HURIWA believes that as COVID-19 ravages economies, the US government has many countries looking up to it to provide leadership in finding a cure, and remain a global power.
“This is not the time for America to allow its name to be dragged in the mud by its seemingly overzealous representative on the board of a critical institution as the AfDB.”