Fifteen concerned African leaders, mainly former presidents across the continent, have sent a strong signal to the United States (U.S) against its call for an independent probe of the President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
They unanimously called on all the shareholders of the Bank including the US to respect its rules, procedures and governance structures.
In a joint statement issued Friday, they also warned against distracting the AfDB President, Dr. Adesina.
Adesina, who is bidding for a second five-year term as president of the bank, had been under fire since some whistle blowers alleged embezzlement and favouritism under his leadership.
Though Adesina was cleared by the bank’s ethics committee, the United States Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, demanded for an independent probe of the corruption allegations levelled against him.
Amid the tension, former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, had appealed to African leaders to rise up and defend the AfDB President.
But Friday, some African leaders expressed concern over the crisis in the bank and called for caution.
They included Obasanjo, Nigeria; Boni Yayi, Benin; Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia; John Kufour, Ghana; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia; Joyce Banda, Malawi; Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique; Tandja Mamadu, Niger; Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria; Mohamed Marzouki, Tunisia; and Benjamin Mkapa, Tanzania.
Others include Ameenah Gurib-Fakin, Mauritius; Rupiah Banda, Zambia; Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa; and Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania.
They said no nation, regardless of how powerful, has a veto power over the AfDB and none should have such power.
The leaders noted that the African continent was facing an unprecedented challenge with coronavirus and all hands must be on deck to tackle the pandemic.