The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has rejected calls to participate in Nigeria’s upcoming elections, arguing that he has his hands full.
In a statement on Tuesday, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina that this was the case was touched by calls from various groups in Nigeria urging him to join the already crowded race.
At least 25 people, mainly from the ruling All Progressives Congress party and the leading opposition party People’s Democratic Party, have expressed an interest in running for President.
“I have been very impressed by several calls from Nigerians, both domestic and overseas, that I should consider running for office President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“While I am deeply honored, humbled and grateful for all of the incredible goodwill, kindness and trust, my current responsibilities do not allow me to be considered.”
Dr. Adesina, a Nigerian agricultural economist, was Minister of Agriculture in Goodluck Jonathan’s government before being nominated by Jonathan’s successor, Muhammadu Buhari, to run for the AfDB presidency.
He was first elected to the board on May 28, 2015 of Governors of the Bank at its annual meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. He won a second term as president of the bank in 2020, despite vigorous opposition from then-US President Donald Trump.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), which provides development loans exclusively in Africa, is made up of 54 African countries and 27 countries outside the continent, including the United States.
Dr. Adesina did not name the groups that have asked him to take part in Nigeria’s elections, scheduled for February next year, when President Buhari retires, according to the Secretariat. But he said they coalition groups of youth, women, farmers, the physically challenged “and well-meaning Nigerians [who] have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression and freedom of association to my consideration in the interests of Nigeria at heart.”
The Nigerian presidential campaign has already attracted veterans, including Jonathan, who lost to Buhari in 2015 but has now become his ally. He announced last week that he would be in the running.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with 180 million people, plans to hold presidential elections on February 25, 2023.