Nigeria was at her best again in the closing week as her citizens made her proud across the globe with historic appointments and strategic re-election outside of her shores. Two days were spectacular for the country -26th and 27th August, 2020.
On Wednesday 26th August, news filtered in that Nigerian-born Canadian Lawyer, Kelechi Madu popularly known as Kaycee Madu had been appointed as the Justice Minister and Solicitor General for the province of Alberta in Canada. The appointment was outstanding because Madu is the first black man to be so appointed to occupy justice positions at the Provincial or Federal level in Canada.
Madu, born and raised in Southwest, is an alumnus of the University of Lagos. He bagged a degree in Law in 2001. He left with his family for Canada in 2005. He has served in different capacities working for Legal Aid Alberta, Edmonton Community Legal Center and the Referral Programme of the Law Society of Alberta. He was elected as member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 2019 which saw him later appointed as Minister of Municipal Affairs.
In his congratulatory message, President Muhammadu Buhari described the appointment of the 47-year-old lawyer as a testimony to the go-getting spirit of people Nigerians descent who have distinguished themselves in different walks of life. The message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described Madu’s appointment as landmark and historic.
On Thursday 27th August, another great news also came in as Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina was returned for a second term as President of the African Development Bank. In a statement on the bank’s website, Adesina recorded a hundred percent of votes of all regional and non-regional members of the Bank. By this election, Dr. Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, has secured a second term which begins on September 1, 2020. While announcing the result of the election that took place on the final day of the 2020 Annual Meetings of the AfDB Group, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Mrs Niale Kaba said “I am delighted that the Board of Governors have re-elected Dr. Adesina for a second term in office as President. As shareholders, we strongly support the Bank and will give him all the necessary support to carry forward and implement his compelling vision for the Bank over the next five years.”
In his own acceptance speech, Adesina said, “I am deeply grateful for the collective trust, strong confidence and support of our shareholders for electing me for a second term as President. It is yet another call for selfless service to Africa and the African Development Bank, to which I will passionately devote myself.” He further said “The future beckons us for a more developed Africa and a much stronger and resilient African Development Bank Group. We will build on the strong foundations of success in the past five years, while further strengthening the institution, for greater effectiveness and impacts”
While congratulating Dr. Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari has affirmed his belief that the globally renowned development economist deserved the re-election. In a statement signed by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, President Buhari “extends appreciation to the African Union for its endorsement of the AfDB President much earlier, and to shareholders of the bank who worked tirelessly to ensure the return of the hardworking visionary leader.”
Adesina’s first term, which began in 2015, had focused on five development priorities known as the High 5s: Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. It had also recorded impactful results on the lives of 335 million Africans, including: 18 million people with access to electricity; 141 million people benefiting from improved agricultural technologies for food security; 15 million people benefiting from access to finance from private investments; 101 million people provided with access to improved transport; and 60 million people gaining access to water and sanitation according to the Bank’s website.
Adesina, who is a World Food Prize Laureate and Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate, earlier had his second term ambition threatened by allegations of corruption, high handedness in recruitment and contract awards. He, however, was cleared by an independent investigative panel headed by the former President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary Johnson.