In a nation where corruption has long been a haystack problem, Adewole Adebayo has committed to running on a platform of accountability and good administration. In his recent visitation to the United States, Adebayo is looking to capture his presidential focus from a different limelight.
The candidate for the Nigerian presidency under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) flew to Washington D.C. on invitation from the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, in a bid to strengthen his relationship with the international community.
Adebayo drove interests to his campaign after agreeing to openly disclose his financial holdings, taking up a challenge from a Nigerian anti-corruption agency, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountable Project (SERAP). He set the pace as the only Nigerian presidential contender to do so thus far.
In his trip to the Washington D.C., he met with ambassadors, State Department representatives, university officials, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he went to Arlington for a committee luncheon for the national Presidential Prayer Breakfast.
“The United States is an important ally to my country. It is an honor to have this chance to make my case to the American people and seek ways to further build on our international relationship,” Adebayo said on his arrival to the U.S.
Nigeria is one of the United States’ most significant allies in Africa, and the two countries have strong ties. The principal foreign investor in Nigeria is the United States, and both countries involve in a two-way commerce in products and services that sometimes exceed $10 billion.
Furthermore, there are over a million Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans who reside, study, and work in the United States.
“We have much to learn from each other and I am determined that, under an Adebayo presidency, we in Abuja will work with Washington for heightened mutual benefit,” Adebayo said, considering untapped relations both countries can involve in.
Adebayo has a long history of connections to the United States. He studied law there, is currently admitted to practise in California and New York, and has participated in numerous court cases and arbitration proceedings in Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
Currently, Adebayo serves as board advisor to the National Black Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the American company Blueprint Global Group.
He serves as the chairman of Sai Phytochemicals, a company that makes medicines for the treatment of sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria and India. 2006 saw Adebayo’s appointment by the UN as a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Liberia while serving as the head of the Africa Dialogue Mission.
Later, he established KAFTAN TV, which broadcasts news to more than 6 million homes across 20 nations. For this venture, he was honoured as the Best Media Proprietor of the Year by the Nigerian Union of Journalists. Thousands of young people from all around Nigeria and Africa have had their educations supported by him.
All these have reflected in the positive response to his campaign, as seen by his landslide victory in the SDP nomination contest and the extensive favourable coverage in the local media.
The 54 year-old won with 1,526 votes, defeating his sole contender, Khadija Lamidi, who received just 83 votes, at the SDP’s National Convention in Abuja, earlier this month.
His candidacy has caused consternation in the old political system and ignited a great deal of hope among young Nigerians both at home and abroad, especially since the call for a middle-aged president has garnered incredible uproar among the country’s young population.
Since MKO Abiola’s victory in 1993, Adebayo’s political party, the Social Democratic Party, has won the freest and most transparent presidential election.
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