Thursday, 13 May 2010

A new president and a new prime minister

Last Thursday when most of you were going to the polls, to elect who would believe it a Conservative / Lib Dem coalition, I was having an unexpected day off, except I had my unexpected day off at work.

Literally as I arrived at work, my colleague received a phone call, saying why are you going to work its a public holiday, it did seem a little quiet but we preceded to the office to find out that during the night the now Late President Umanu Yar'Adua had died, and a public holiday had been announced. 

Yar'Adua had been ill for sometime, and was out of the country from November to February receiving treatment in Saudi.  Since he returned to Nigeria he has not been seen in public even by the former Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who has now been sworn in as the President, and has personally taken responsibility for the Ministry of Power, and funnily enough our electricity has been rather good during the last week, we had three days without water instead!  This unfortunately is not universal, my colleague said his electricity has been poor, and its not been so good at work either!

During the morning we got a phone call from VSO to warn us not to get into political conversations!  Later a taxi driver said to me "Our president don die."  I was considering how to respond, thinking that he had said don't / didn't, you can imagine the speculation about a president that is ill but has not been seen for 5 months.  Fortunately I quickly realised that it was pidgin "our president don die" is like "you don chop?" ie have you eaten?  So I replied appropriately, yes I know I'm sorry.

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