Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has once again clarified his position on his overstay as Grameen Bank managing director, saying that
the bank’s board of directors had allowed the extension.
The clarification came at a reception in his honour hosted by former Inspector General of Police and Secretary AYBI Siddiqi at Spectra Convention Centre in Gulshan. BRAC Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed attended the reception as chief guest while Centre for Policy Dialogue Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan, former Adviser to the caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan and Transcom Limited Chairman Latifur Rahman were present as special guests.
AYBI Siddiqi, his wife Rehana Siddiqi and their son Lutfey Siddiqi also spoke at the programme, attended by eminent personalities and foreign diplomats.
The speakers applauded Professor Yunus for his achievements and bringing honour for the country. Sir Fazle Abed was also profusely praised for his achievements.
On his extended role as Grameen Bank MD, Professor Yunus said that he had informed the board of directors about the age limit of 60 years.
The board kept him, he said, adding that the law relating to Grameen Bank had been prepared by the board of directors not by the government.
“They are responsible for this deed,” said smiling Professor Yunus, pointing to Professor Sobhan and Dr Akbar Ali Khan, who were in the Grameen Bank’s board of directors.
He said that Grameen Bank and Bangladesh Bank had sat on this issue and Bangladesh Bank had said, “It is okay.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner said that there had been no ill intention on his part.
“All the works have been done nicely, which is why we could win the Nobel Prize,” he added.
Professor Yunus also said that there might be different opinions, but there should not be any problem in expressing one’s opinions.
He thanked the organiser for holding the reception.
BRAC chief Abed said that Professor Yunus had deserved Nobel Prize not only for Grameen Bank but also for his relentless advocacy for micro-financing.
“I have great respect and affection for the Grameen Bank founder. We are proud of him,” he added.
Professor Sobhan admired Professor Yunus, saying that he had developed an institution that helped financially-deprived people.
Also praising Abed for establishing BRAC, he said that Abed had founded the largest NGO in the world while Yunus had established the largest micro-financing organisation in the world.
Dr Akbar Ali Khan, who was Chairman of Grameen Bank board of directors, said that there was an allegation against him that he had given all the power of Grameen Bank to Yunus.
He also praised Yunus for his achievements.
Latifur Rahman said that Yunus had brought extraordinary honour to the country.
Host Siddiqi described the reception as a personal initiative and said that many had expressed suspicion about the reception.
-With The Independent input