By Victor Okeke
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Africa has come under heavy criticism over its report against the newly re-elected President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
This followed yesterday’s historic 100 per cent yes vote for the re-election of Adesina which the BBC headlined “Flamboyant Nigerian banker Akinwumi Adesina has been re-elected chairman of the African Development Bank (AfDB) after weathering a political storm over allegations of corruption.”
Twitter users rained myriad of criticisms on the imperialist media outlet which got it trending.
Dr Amadi Chima @Mazigburugburu1, a wealthy businessman in Nigeria said “And that’s that imperialism we have been telling you guys about. They didn’t get their way so, frame him in the most negative way possible. “Flamboyant” and “corruption” in one headline.”
Tolu Ogunlesi, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media tweeted:
“Who signed off on this? This is far from BBC standard. 1. What’s the “flamboyant” doing here? 2. “Banker” is hardly the way to describe his professional life. 3. “President” of AfDB, not “Chairman” Or are you people now into parody ni?”
Proshare, one of Nigeria’s leading capital market information group said “Dear @BBCAfrica, We simply write to register our disappointment at this unprofessional representation of an African leader. You can apply a uniform standard in reporting Africa and our leaders.”
@NgNewmedia said “BBC Africa used the same term, “Flamboyant Nigerian Banker”, when it announced the call for an independent panel on the allegation against Adesina. This is rather biased, condescending and a misrepresentation and should be condemned.”
Another user @Pacmallim who was more emphatic tweeted: “I have unfollowed @BBCNews & @BBCBreaking from twitter, uninstalled the BBC app from all my devices. Will No longer contribute to any topic and ended my subscription. These days I stick with Aljazeera English for news & current affairs.”
@Ayobankole tweeted that “BBC Africa has to be the most “flamboyant” foreign press in Africa. When something happens more than once, it becomes a pattern. @BBCAfrica has obviously been marinated in bankrolling journalism. That’s the only explanation for this irresponsibility.”
Oluseun Onigbinde @seunonigbinde, the co-founder and CEO of budgIT, a Nigerian civic startup simply asked: “BBC Africa, who’s bankrolling you? What’s flamboyant banker? Bow tie?”
Eleanya Eke @eldivyn rewrote the headline to this: “”Brilliant Nigerian banker has been re-elected chairman of AfDB after corrupt allegations against him were proven false.” That’s what your headline should say, BBC Africa.”
@Obydike tweeted this under the BBC headline “Indomitable Nigerian banker Akinwumi Adesina has been deservedly re-elected.. ;after an unsustainable, baseless and puerile campaign of calumny by his detractors had run its course.”
Oluwaseyi @OyinboOluwaseyi said “BBC Africa has been as useless as the P in Psalm. Only interested in promoting Western interests in Africa with reckless use of words. What is flamboyant about @akin_adesina’s lifestyle? Do you want him to be wearing rags?”
Last month, Reuters reported that an independent review found that the African Development Bank rightly Adesina, of abuse of office, paving the way for him to seek a second term.
Whistleblowers in January accused Adesina, who has held the AfDB’s top job since 2015, of abuses of office including favouritism in hiring fellow Nigerians, and giving out overly generous severance packages.
A report by the bank’s ethics board in April cleared him of malfeasance but the United States, AfDB’s second-largest shareholder, rejected the internal investigation and demanded an independent panel review the case.
The panel, led by former Irish President Mary Robinson, agreed with the decision of the bank’s ethics committee, according to its final report, seen by Reuters.