Monday, January 26, 2009

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.

Source: AFP

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

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Anonymous said...

Well, maybe his definition of putting "our hands to the plough with renewed vigour" is taking a rest - to allow other healthy enough to handle the ground work.....And at least, this time we know who is running the country, not the bedlam that occured the last time out.. lol

Waffarian said...

The one wey e dey do there na work before? Me, I be think say na holiday e dey since na! So, because them give una official notice, una think say you don know better thing? Abeg, leave this stale gist.The man don dey holiday since na.Hisssssssssssssss

N.I.M.M.O said...

Madam Solomonsydelle, read between the lines. The guy is just going to keep a doctor's appointment.

At least this time around they did it like civilized people do world over and left the VP clearly in charge. After all it was a joint ticket.

Let's just hope things go according to plan.

Anonymous said...

At the very top of the food chain, IT’S ... SHOW TIME! ALL THE TIME! This is why I have never understood why people, mostly men, take on those rather stressful roles in Nigeria. Stress here refers to the inability of a human or animal body to respond and it is all part of a well rounded education that a developing country needs. Leading psychotherapists claim a holiday away is as important as sleep and studies have shown that people who do not go on holiday have difficulty thinking. Could this be a reason Nigeria has barely moved? Taking holidays should never be a big deal and it must be encouraged for all regardless. Getting away from it all is why we work smarter.

The arguement that people running our nation seemed asleep most of the time does sound plausible when you factor in the inaction and not-a-lot-to-show for the so-called efforts. They might simply be burnt out without knowning. The task of recognizing the signs of burnout and how to pull unmotivated servants out of their rut is another debate. President Yar'Adua should go take his rest, he has earned it, but telling the truth, especially when it hurts is the best thing a leader can do for his people. Making do with rumors that benefit the FGN will only regress the nation further.

The Activist said...

His Information guy -Segun Adeniyi said he's not going to leave Nigeria. That his hols will be in Kastina. Methink they are flowing in the doctors.

Someone said Yar'adua will be going for a second time. Hmmm, I doubt if he has the capacity to run this first term yet.

Jinta said...

well, we did complain that no one seemed to be in charge when he went for the 'lesser hajj'. i think he is now going for the 'lesser, lesser, hajj; i.e. doctor's appointment


@ Danny: very true. It was far better that we were formally informed of his plans.

@ Waffy: lol! You are harsh, my sista. I just am not sure that 2 weeks away is a good idea, but what do I know.

@ N.I.M.M.O.: Abeg oh! Please, don't say that before the SSS comes knocking, lol! Well, whatever the case may be, I hope he comes back ready to get back to the tedious work at hand.

@ Beauty: I am sure that running a country would qualify any President for rest because of the burn out. And your theory about burnout leading to no results is very plausible. I just wonder if he truly needs 2 weeks after 17 days he took off in November. But, the reality is, I just want him to come back rested and ready to live up to those inspiring words he shared. Even i would like to help him out in any way I can as long as the country is the beneficiary.

@ The Activist: Well, the reality is that most incumbents seek a second or even third term as was supposedly the case for Obasanjo. It would be surprising if Yardy didn't seek reelection. But, I am sure his detractors will throw the medical issue in his face a lot.

@ Jintus: True, this time around the procedure was much more transparent and will indeed be better for the country. But, I deliberately chose not to remind everyone of the corruption scandal involving The VP's wife and what that could imply when the VP is in charge of a country struggling to reduce corruption and 'reposition' its image. That one, I will leave for another day.

The Activist said...

Hmmm those that will throw his medical issues on his face will not be called "destractors" this time around, they will be called "changemakers"

I was reading in the Business Day this morning that he will be at Obudu, Kastina and Lagos for his 2 weeks vacation. Whatever it is, I am sure he will be seeing his doctors that will be following secretly to Nigeria.

I wish him well though but I hope will millions of Nigeria will not keep getting deceived by our leaders. Where is the Freedom of Information Bill sef?

Dojaa said...

Being on holiday does not mean he cannot still oversee the country's affairs in these days of technology.
@StandTall-The Activist: freedom of information bill in Nigeria does not mean you will get the information!

bumight said...

i read this story on one of the news websites, and i knew you had to have blogged about this. obviously he's going for his check up.

io said...

my uncle just got a transplant after what seemed like forever. it is a week and a half today to be precise. i know somewhat first hand what being on dialysis can do to the human body. if anything, sitting for 4hours connected to some machine to have ones blood cleaned 3 times a week is enough not to wish it on someone else.

that said, it is the highest level decay to a countries health sector that would require a president be flown outside the borders of his country for any medicalAnything when there is a national hospital. even if said hospital wont be for every tunji, chidi and danladi at least having it for the thiefing elite would make some sense.
but no that would be too much work for a goverment with a health ministry. instead we put a national security issue in the hands of the next available doctor who could be on the payroll of God knows.

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