Okonjo-Iweala to Buhari: ‘Thank you Mr. President’ — as US backs her for WTO appointment

Nigerian Former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for their unflinching support for her run to become the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Okonjo-Iweala had beaten seven other candidates to emerge the most preferred candidate for the much-coveted office, gaining the support of the US government on Friday.

Expressing her gratitude to the US, the former managing director of the World Bank also congratulated Yoo Mhung-Hee of Rep. Korea for “a hard fought campaign”.

“Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard fought campaign,” she tweeted.

“Thank You President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians for your unflinching support. Thank you friends. Love to my family. Glory to God.”

In June 2020, President Buhari withdrew the candidacy of Yonov Frederick Agah, Nigeria’s permanent representative to WTO, for the office of the DG.

This was faced with opposition from Egypt, but Buhari emphasised his support for the two-time minister of finance, stating that he would make calls to world leaders to support her.

“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,’’ Buhari had said.

“I did the same for Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You are both highly qualified.”

Okonjo-Iweala currently chairs the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), a public-private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

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