As of today, Nigeria's President, Umar Musa Yar'Adua, is on 2 weeks annual vacation. The President, through a spokesperson, announced the impending vacation on Friday the 23rd, about 72 hours before. Consequently, the country is now being run by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, in accordance with the Constitution.
While I am not one to ever begrudge anyone a vacation, particularly as I just took one myself, I cannot help but wonder if now is the right time for Nigeria's President to leave the country for 2 weeks. Arguably, there is likely never a good time for any President to take some time off. Yet, given the fluctuating domestic and international economy, and the fact that Yar'Adua just created a financial team to help him maintain "macroeconomic stability in an environment of global economic meltdown...", this is especially not a conducive time for Nigeria's President to take a break for 2 long weeks. Besides, Yar'Adua specifically told his new cabinet the following,
"...so much is expected of you. I am personally convinced that you are up to the task but all Nigerians need to be quickly convinced too. This is not the time for an extended learning course; all of us both old and new need to be fully aware of the significance of the moment."The significance of this moment in history could very well be that a President on holiday is not good for a struggling economy and nation striving to achieve basic goals in serving its citizens. Taking this trip cannot possibly convince the public that he is up to the task of achieving the incredible tasks yet to be accomplished.
Furthermore, Yar'Adua just took 17 days off the job when he traveled to Saudi Arabia in November 2008 to participate in the "lesser hajj" or, as has now been confirmed, to seek medical treatment. During those days, Nigerians had no idea who was in charge of national affairs and many political opportunists used that time to recommend that Yar'Adua step down. Given that this newly announced vacation would technically be his second in less than 3 months, is this 2 week vacation necessary?
It must be said that the average Nigerian does not have the opportunity to take vacations or seek medical assistance abroad when the need calls for it. Hopefully, they will understand that their President has chosen to get some rest at this particular moment in time. Regardless, may the President enjoy his vacation and return well rested and ready to deliver on his promise to fulfill the following inspiring words,
"There is no better moment to rededicate ourselves to the urgent task of repositioning our country. There is no better time to recommit ourselves to [the] imperative of meeting the mounting aspiration of our people and there is no better point to start redeeming our pledges of delivering good governance on the platform of the seven-point agenda.
This is the time for action and visible results. It is the time for exemplary sacrifices in service. It is the time for un-parallelled dedication and innovation. It is the time to make the lasting difference. Nothing else will do. We must all put our hands to the plough with renewed vigour." [sic]And to that I say, "Amin, Mr. President." The goals expressed are the same I seek and I cannot wait to see them come to pass.
Related Articles of Interest:
- Yar'Adua Health, Resignation & Nigerian Cost
- More Yar'Adua Health Uncertainty
- Yar'Adua And The Continuing Heath Issue
- The Consequences of Ya'Adua's Mysterious Health
- Nigeria, Be Careful What You Wish For
- Suppression In A Democratic Regime