Re-election affirms confidence in Adesina’s ability, says Tinubu

The re-election of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as African Development Bank (AfDB) President for another five-year term is an affirmation of confidence in his ability and commitment to the development of Africa, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said.

Adesina, former Nigeria’s Agriculture minister, was last Thursday returned by the Board of Governors of the AfDB Group at its 2020 Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

In a congratulatoryletter to Adesina at the weekend Tinubu said: “By way of this letter, please, accept my heartfelt congratulations over your election to serve a second five-year as President, African Development Bank, at the recent 2020 Annual Meetings of the AfDB Group.

“Your unanimous re-election by the Board of Governors, coming after ill-defined attempts to block your continuance, shows that, if we remain vigilant and true to the collective purpose of the economic progress of the African continent, then, fairness and justice will win out in the end.

“As a globally renowned economist, you demonstrated outstanding competence and professionalism during your first term. Your re-election was but affirmation of Africa’s confidence in your ability and commitment.

“In your first term, you distinguished yourself by driving to reshape the bank that it would be a more active catalyst for Africa’s development. You focused on five development priorities known as the High 5s: Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.

“As AfDB President for another term, I urge you to continue in like manner. Continue to invest your cognitive abilities, immense skills and robust energy in the development of Africa.

“Given the exigencies of the present moment due to the global pandemic, you must put your knowledge and creativity into fullest use that we work towards creating more employment for the people of this continent and remove them from the grip of poverty and its attendant difficulties.

“The AfDB must be at the policy and intellectual vanguard as we seek ways to contain both the public health and economic challenges of COVID-19.

“For your re-election, we must also congratulate and applaud President Muhammadu Buhari and other present and past leaders in Africa who believed in you and worked assiduously for your success.

“This victory is not only yours, the AfDB Group’s or Nigeria’s. It’s victory for Africa itself. The continent deserves that our best and most able minds be able to serve and work for its betterment.

“I wish you an even more successful second term. May God be with you and may He help and guide us in the struggle against poverty and in our efforts to bring much-needed development to our continent and its people.”

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.