The newly-elected president of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), and immediate past Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has revealed how the phone calls he made at the eleventh hour to President Muhammadu Buhari through Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State saved and guaranteed the seat of AfDB presidency for him.
Adesina, who disclosed this during an unscheduled visit to Governor Amosun in Abeokuta on Monday, said the last hour calls he made to Buhari mid-election through Amosun were the saving grace, saying President Buhari personally engaged in making calls to critical global leaders in the last days of the election, secured the AfDB seat for him.
The AfDB President-elect also singled out Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister for commendation as well as ex-presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan; ex-heads of state, Yakubu Gowon, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and ex-vice-presidents, Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, saying the support showed that Nigeria had advanced politically.
“I am delighted to be here, this is called the Gateway State, when you come to Ogun State gates open and I want to say that now that Nigeria has finally won the Presidency of AfDB, I think my coming from Ogun State has something to do with the gate that has just opened.
“Let me say that there are number of people that have been tremendous, first of all is the Nigerians that have actually supported me tremendously as minister of agriculture here, all the state governors, all the commissioners of agriculture, all the farmers, National Assembly, traditional rulers; you all made it easier for me to do my work.
“And I think it was a collective effort of everybody for the success we were able to achieve as minister for agric in Nigeria, which is being celebrated not only in Nigeria, but also globally.
“I am very proud as a Nigerian for what we have been able to do and I want to thank you in particular, your excellency, for the tremendous amount of support you gave me when I was the minister,” Adesina said.