Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Elections, Holidays, Holidays and more Holidays

Since we have been in Lagos (arrived April 4th), we have had 5 holidays. Two of the holidays, April 6th and 9th, were planned for Easter. On Wednesday April 11th at about 4PM, the Nigerian government declared Thursday April 12th and Friday April 13th as national holidays so that the local people had time to travel and locate their polling stations for the local governor elections that were to occur on Saturday April 14th. On election days the government places restrictions on movements of people (no driving) in the hopes that more people will vote. The turn out for the local elections was better than expected and for the most part calm. Bob and I (and everyone else in the complex) were restricted from going anywhere so we just hung out at home watching the elections on TV. The presidential elections were on April 21st and a few days before (Thursday) the government declared Friday April 20th a national holiday for travel purposes. The elections on Saturday April 21st were also relatively "calm" but had much less voter turn out and the results are now being disputed. We were again restricted from travel outside of our complex and spent that Saturday hanging out at home again.

Unfortunately Bob and I worked on all of the holidays in an effort to get settled. Losers!

Click on this NPR link to hear more about the presidential elections (fued between outgoing president and outgoing vice-president, low turn-out for voting, and more):

Near-term holidays:

Tuesday May 1st is a holiday to celebrate May Day. Be happy that we don't work 15 hour days!
What is May Day?

Tuesday May 29th is Democracy Day which commemorates the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999. That day, Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule (from Wikipedia). I believe the term of office for the president and state governors in Nigeria is 4 years and in 2003 Olusegun Obasanjo was elected for president for a second term. There was an effort to amend the constitution to allow serving a third term but it never passed. Democracy Day 2007 will mark the first transfer from civilian to civilian government.

That is the end of the holidays until October… ; ( I don’t know how I am going to cope!

1 comment:

IamMBB said...

Ahh, but from recent experience, it appears that Nigerians are good at creating holidays on the fly so there's reason to hope . . .