Who is he?
Akinwumi Adesina was the Minister of Agriculture under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and he was one of those dubbed as ‘performing’, in the lingua of political communications. Well, do not take my words for it, do your research.
Even if the assessment of Adesina was not totally right, ever since he assumed Presidency of the African Development Bank Group, he has become much like a shinning light around Africa, traveling the world and meeting world leaders on behalf of the continent.
Talking about traveling the world and meeting leaders, Mr Adesina was at the recently concluded G7 meeting, with three African leaders in attendance. Needless to mention that the President of Nigeria was not invited?
Well, President Buhari had taken a likely more important trip to Japan in the absence of Shinju Abe, the Prime Minister of the country, and he was reportedly welcomed by top Japanese government officials. Hopefully, Nigerians will reap the supposedly good fruit of the meeting.
That is not the major focus here though. Our spotlight is on Adesina who has suddenly become the talk of the day, with many suggesting he runs for Presidency.
While winning elections in Nigeria go more than capacity and capabilities, here are 5 likely reasons why Nigerians think so highly of the former Minister of Agriculture.
1. His Carriage
Like some Americans say, one difference between Obama and Trump is the carriage and it is a big part of political communications. At every point in time, politicians need to exude confidence and stability.
That is one of the things Mr. Adesina has gotten right. While he was Minister, all of his press releases corroborated his pristine carriage and demeanor. You would hardly ever see or hear him making speeches about people importing Pizza from London, or Medical Doctors turning to tailors.
2. His Network Looks Intimidating
As a former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Adesina sure knows a few important people around the country and Africa. However, that is just one of his topmost jobs, as he had already served as Vice President of Policy and Partnerships at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Mr. Adesina has been around dealing with agricultural issues in the country for years, and it’s no surprise that he was elected President of the African Development Bank (ADB) in 2015. What was however surprising is the fact that he was the first Nigerian to occupy that position since the founding of the 80-member-country organization.
Hence, he got to relate with at least 80 country Presidents, including that of the US, Japan, Egypt, Germany, Canada, etc.
3. AFD President is Huge Experience
Adesina’s CV definitely looks heavy. Imagine a CV that could draw the attention of the President without having to make use of ‘long-leg’. Some people would argue this, but of a truth one needs a bit of networking to get one’s CV on the President’s table.
However, you are probably getting something right if you are chosen. From Vice President of an agro-driven organization to Agric Minister of Africa’s most populous country, to the President of Africa’s biggest international development bank, Mr Adesina is the true definition of ‘experience’.
4. His Track Records So Far
What are his achievements as Agric Minister and President of ADB? Well, as an intro, just this year, he received the most prestigious award on food security, the Sunhak Peace Prize for promoting food security in Africa through Agric innovation.
He was credited with drawing the master plan of the fertilizer revolution in Nigeria. He also was a big advocate of value addition in the tomato, rice and cereal markets, as a Minister of Agric. As a development economist, he worked as Senior economist at the West African Rice Task Force, pioneering rice revolution all around West Africa, before working in Southern Africa.
He probably knows Africa like the back of his hands, with respect to agriculture. Is he the hope of agriculture in Africa, or the hope of Nigeria?
5. From a Major Ethnic Group/Party
Ahaaaa! Eyes will role here, but it is what it is. One hardly stands a chance of leading this country if you are not part of one of the three major ethnic groups.
This is not supposed to be the case, but then Nigeria is too divided across ethnic lines to think straight. At the end of the day, millions will vote a seemingly incompetent President because he/she comes from their region/tribe. Do you know what else plays a bigger role than competence in Nigeria politics? Religion.
Mr. Adesina may be all of these, and you would not blame Nigerians for dreaming of a better country with him at the helm of affairs. With a large catchment of experience in running developing nations, Adesina might make a great President.
What do you think?