President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received in audience at the State House, Abuja, the newly re-elected President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, telling him: “I congratulate you on your second and final term in office. Congratulations on winning the election. Nothing succeeds like success.”
Dr Adesina had overcome stiff opposition last month to win an unprecedented 100% votes from the regionals and non-regionals that make up the Bank, and was inaugurated for a second term of five years as AfDB President on September 1.
“I have told so many people why I backed you,” President Buhari said.
“In 2015, at your first term, you were a Minister with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government, and I was of the All Progressives Congress (APC). But you are a good Nigerian. So I recommended you the first time. You proved to be competent, you made us proud, and I recommended you the second time.”
The President commended Dr Adesina for his support for Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular, stressing that the infrastructure deficits the country has in roads, rail, power, could not be overcome without support.
“There can’t be sustainable development without infrastructure. Our efforts should be seen in the context of lack of resources, but you do your best to support us. I wish you all the best in your final term,” President Buhari said.
The AfDB President thanked the Nigerian President and people for their support, saying he was proud to be a citizen of the country.
“Home is where dreams are born. Home is where nurturing is provided. It is where support is given for realization of dreams. I am glad to belong here,” Dr Adesina said.
“When I came in June, you received me, and I shared my successes, and the difficulties facing me. You listened, and said you would stand by me. And you did. You not only stood behind me, but also beside me. No greater honour for a man than for his Commander-in-Chief to be his Supporter-in-Chief, and his Defender-in-Chief,” he added.
Adesina said Nigeria gave him air, “when I badly needed it in my lungs,” and pledged to always support the country in his private capacity, and as AfDB President.
He then asked for a round of applause for the President, which was truly resounding.