Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari,Femi Adesina, claimed that only his boss has what it takes to look at former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the eyes and get away with it.
Adesina, who painted a picture of the behind the scene moves by the President to ensure the re-election of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), was trying to draw an analogy between the influence of the United States of America world affairs and that of Obasanjo in Nigerian politics.
The AfDB won the re-election despite strenuous efforts by the US to stop him.
Adesina, writing on his Facebook wall, said: “If America and some other world powers come after you, you have every right to shiver in the broiling sun. It’s like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo telling you to dismount from the horse of leadership in Nigeria. Only a Muhammadu Buhari can look him straight in the eyes and say: No sir and survive it.
“Akinwumi Adesina fought the good fight for the AfDB diadem, won in brilliant fashion, and is already inaugurated for a second term in office. But it was not by a sudden flight. It took grit, guts and God.
“As elections approached, America suddenly decided it didn’t want Adesina as President again. It told him to get off the horse. Different things began to happen.
“First, some whistleblowers leveled 16 allegations of unethical practices against the AfDB President. A panel was set up to probe him. Adesina wrote his defense in 250 pages. Not a line of it was faulted, and he was exonerated by the Board of Governors of the Bank.
“America kicked. It called for an independent, external party to look into the findings of the panel. It was done, and Adesina came forth shining as gold again.
“In the middle of the battle, indeed, when it was at its fiercest, and the continent and the rest of the world were under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Buhari sent a presidential jet to fetch his illustrious citizen home.
“That day, I was in attendance as Dr Adesina briefed the President. It was a full brief, with many different scenarios of how, why, when, where, painted. At the end, he asked for the support of his home country, as the election approached.
“It was pin drop silence in the Diplomatic Room of the PresidentialVilla as Buhari responded. He recalled that the election for first term had been on May 28, 2015, a day before he got inaugurated into office in his first term.
”You were a Minister under the government of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and I am of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but I didn’t because of that withhold support from you. As President-elect, I had written all African Presidents to support you in the election, they did, and you won.
”I’ll remain consistent because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria. And on August 27, the chicken came home to roost. The 81 member countries who constitute the bank returned Adesina, in what now goes into history as landmark in the 56 years history of the bank”.