African Diaspora Congress (ADC) has accused the United States of “jostling for power in Africa by unduly interfering” in the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
ADC, a coalition of various African Diaspora organisations, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Tuesday.
The statement was jointly signed by its Secretary-General, Prof. Apollos Nwauwa, and Public Relations Officer, Dr Isabelle Kemajou-Brown.
It faulted the US’ call for an independent probe of corruption allegations against the AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina after he had been cleared by the bank’s Ethics Committee.
The request, according to ADC, is outside the rules and governing system of the bank and aimed at removing Adesina from office.
It said: “A suspicious whistleblower’s complaint against Adesina has been duly investigated by the bank’s Ethics Committee and dismissed as being “frivolous, baseless, and without merit or evidence.”
“Unfortunately, the US has not accepted this outcome because it is not helpful to its quest to remove Adesina from office.
“Why should the U.S, which is a minority shareholder in the AfDB, impose on the bank, another so-called independent investigation of Adesina’s conduct outside the bank’s procedures and policies?
“Under which statute of the bank is the U.S. revisiting a matter which has been resolved in a transparent manner and in line with the bank’s existing procedures and policies?” it queried.
ADC pointed out that Nigeria, the largest AfDB shareholder should be the one calling the shot, and not the U.S, a non-regional member with “only 6.6. per cent” shareholding.
It argued that the U.S. lacked the authority to lord it over African countries that owned 60 per cent of the bank’s shares.
ADC said the move against Adesina was part of attempts by some non-regional members of the bank to frustrate his re-election in spite of his “achievements and impressive leadership” at the bank.
It noted that AfDB had witnessed a “historic growth” in its general capital from 93 billion dollars (N34 trillion) to 208 billion dollars (N78 trillion) under Adesina.
“This is an increase of 115 billion dollars (N43 trillion) or about 124 per cent, the highest in the bank’s history since its establishment in 1964.
“Also, Adesina has, through his leadership, raised the bank’s transparency standing to position four among 45 comparable global bilateral and multilateral institutions.
“In less than five years, under Adesina’s leadership, the bank’s investments have benefitted and impacted more than 333 million Africans,” it said.
The body called on the U.S. to leave the AfDB president alone since African leaders had already endorsed him as the sole candidate for the election billed for August.
“The U.S. should live by the same democratic principles that it frequently preaches to the rest of the world.
“Therefore, the ADC joins all Africans, Africans in Diaspora, the 6th Region and all friends of Africans and the AfDB in signing this petition as a protest against undue US meddling in African affairs.
“Moreover, the ADC urges the U.S. Government to take its hands off Africa and to let President Adesina be.
“Africans demand a breathing space from non-regional powers. Neocolonialism is outdated!” It said.