A body of Nigerians in the Diaspora codenamed Diaspora Support Group of North America and Europe, has asked the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, to enter the race for the next President of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections.

Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was advised to go for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party, even though he enjoys the goodwill of Nigerians to run as an independent candidate.

The group made this known in a statement issued on Tuesday by Convener of #DiasporaSupport4Adesina and Founder of Shine Bridge Global Inc., Chesapeake-Virginia, USA, Dr. Tony Bello, titled ‘A Clarion Call to Draft AfDB President Adesina into the 2023 Nigerian Presidential Race!’

The statement partly read, “We, the Diaspora Support Group of North America and Europe, hereby beckon to all well-meaning Nigerians and co-patriots, at home and abroad, to join us in drafting Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina into the Nigerian 2023 presidential race.

“By the way he has endeared himself to the generality of Nigerians across the board, we would have preferred having him run as an independent candidate if such was possible. It’s, therefore, necessary that he contests under any of the two major Nigerian political parties, the APC or the PDP. The announcement of his candidacy, no doubt, will be a revelatory message to the world that our democracy has come of age.

“Yes, the name Adesina featuring among the presidential candidates is something of excellent value to our democracy. It is a signal that we are about to leap into a stable par with mature democracies across the world.”

The group stated knowing Adesina, it was perfectly sure his presidency would bring in a robust economic resurgence “that will, for example, put an end to our children drowning in the high seas of Africa and Europe in their quest for a better life.”

The group recalled Adesina’s performance at the 2021 Midterm Ministerial Performance Review Retreat when the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), invited him to articulate a roadmap for Nigeria’s economic resurgence.

It also said that Adesina has successfully led the AfDB and by implication, Africa, to withstand the global economic shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the global food crisis due to (Russian President, Vladimir) Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

It also revealed how Adesina fought back against the assault of President Donald Trump on Africa, when Trump branded Nigeria as a “shithole country,” even when his re-election as President of the AfDB was on the balance.

The group stated that Adesina was afterwards unanimously re-elected with 100 per cent of the votes and remains President of AfDB.

It pointed out that Adesina has become “a national and global influencer of our time,” whose global achievements, awards and recognitions have become a thing of national pride for all Nigerians.

The statement partly read, “Judging from the calibres of those who have shown interest in the presidency of Nigeria after President Buhari, there’s no one better placed than Adesina to mount the seat. He’s an embodiment of leadership in all its ramifications. Be it setting the vision, taking actions, gaining alignment, leading, influencing, inspiring, building, collaboration, partnership, humility to learn, charisma, investing in people and processes.

“Things can no longer remain the same, business as usual for Nigeria in the next election. The time we are in now requires a career technocrat with just enough wherewithals of politicians of global reputation and economic discipline devoid of ethnic and religious biases to head the government of Nigeria.

“The electorate is duty-bound to call on the likes of Dr Adesina to mount the rostrum to contest for the office of the President of Nigeria come 2023. And the time is now to get the job done through his nomination by any of the major political parties in the land.”

The statement further read, “The question we may ask is, who among those career politicians and presidential hopefuls will yield to Adesina? Our hope is that all the aspirants will yield for the sake of conscience and love of country.

“On the flip side, Dr Adesina must commit working with seasoned politicians with proven track records of good governance as judged by the electorate. This is no time for Nigerians to fold arms and wait for the conclusion of nominations and party primaries to begin the usual but all too familiar criticism of career politicians.

“This is the time for the electorate to take on the civic responsibility of calling on more qualified Nigerians besides the usual and current slate of career politicians to come and run for office. If we refuse to seek and search for the best candidates now, many could argue that our hope and faith for a better Nigeria will have to wait for another four years or even longer. It’s no time for poor governance, impunity and economic ruin. This is the right time for the ‘clarion call’ to be made to all eminent Nigerian sons and daughters to come on board to serve their motherland.”

The group claimed that it was particularly calling on leaders of industries and detribalised political leaders “in the like of former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, Governor Abu Sani Bello of Niger State, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Kayode Fayemi, and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State to come together across party lines to work out the nomination and subsequent election of Dr Adesina as the President of Nigeria come 2023.”

It added, “It was learnt that Chief Obasanjo has made some moves to draft Dr Akinwumi Adesina into the Presidential race. While former President Chief Obasanjo is quick to criticise non-performance in office, he’s not shy in calling out those who are capable of winning elections. What is significant is that Chief Obasanjo does not waste time offering criticisms for non-performance when those whom he offers support are elected to office. Adesina’s presidency, God forbid, will not suffer such shortcomings!

“Looking ahead, it behoves all of us as Nigerians in the Diaspora and at home to come together to advocate and support the candidacy of Dr. Adesina, a globally recognised economic leader. Along with Adesina are the likes of former CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Ms Amina J. Mohammed.

“Of course, there are many others including past or present career politicians who are worthy of mention. With their support, President Adesina will usher Nigeria into the land of promise, of political stability, progressive democracy and solidarity, and socio-economic prosperity. Therefore, we urge the political party bigwigs to please join with us (the Diaspora Support Group of North America and Europe) to draft Dr Adesina into the presidential race. We sincerely thank you in advance for the possibility of bringing this dream to fruition.”