By Chris Ndibe
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a Civil Rights Advocacy group, has urged President Donald Trump to call its Executive Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Stephen Dowd to order.
Mr Emma Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of HURIWA gave the advice in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
United States Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of allegations levelled against Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president on alleged corruption after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.
Onwubiko said he didn’t believe the United States could be directly involved in this crisis but alleged that it was from individuals with clandestine agenda that was unfavourable to Africa.
He explained that if U.S didn’t call its representative to order, it would expose the country to public ridicule and as well hurt American’s interest in Africa.
According to him, the mission for probe of Adesina is to discredit the candidacy of the AfDB boss, thereby, stopping his re-election slated for August.
The coordinator said that these futile attempts to discredit Adesina with frivolous allegations about his style of governance had already been put to bed by the Ethics Committee of the Bank.
He added that the Ethics Committee comprised the Executive Directors from all 81 shareholding countries, adding that it was surprising that in spite of this, the United States executive director at the bank was calling for an independent probe, which he said was unheard of in the history of multilateral banks.
“This is a distraction from the strong corporate governance structure that African Heads of State established at the bank.
“We vehemently frown upon 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 U.S. 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 U.S 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,’’ he stated.