Announcing a vacation just days after a major disaster, was disrespectful from President Buhari
"I'm traveling to the United Kingdom today on a short leave; part of my annual vacation", President Muhammadu Buhari announced. "I'll be back at work on February 6. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will act as President".
According to a statement from the President's spokesperson, Femi Adesina, the trip borders on health concerns.
"During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups. In line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, have been duly communicated," Adesina said.
Here's the thing: everybody falls ill. Everyone needs a vacation from work once in a while. That's not even up for debate.
But when you are President of a country, discretion says you don't announce a vacation just hours after the military which acts at your command, has just 'accidentally' killed innocent civilians.
Could the medical trip have been rescheduled? Is the ailment life threatening? If yes, then the people should have been duly informed of the severity of their President's state of health; after all, the President is the servant of the people who elected him into office.
The people deserve to be told everything....oh well, almost everything.
President Buhari couldn't even clear his desk to go see the IDP camp that was mistakenly bombed by his service chiefs.
He had to send a delegation.
When was the last time President Buhari addressed the nation on camera after a major disaster or loss of lives? He'll issue a banal, run-of-the-mill press statement instead.
When was the last time Buhari showed up at the site of a Boko Haram bomb blast?
Yes, a President has to put up appearances, he's got to show that he cares, he's got to emotionally connect with the people.
Buhari comes across as cold and unfeeling--or that's the way he appears to everyone else who isn't holed up in the Aso Rock echo chamber.
We aren't begrudging the President his medical trip abroad. He can travel wherever he wants and at whatever time he wants.
But this particular Buhari trip to the U.K is poor timing and in poor taste.
Again, the President has shown that perception and empathy mean nothing to him. And that should bother everyone.