The people of Ivory Coast are reported paying the price in voting a Septuagenarian as Head of State, and are said to be worried and leaving in fears over the continued absence of their 72 year old President Alassane Ouattara from the country.
Alassane Ouattara, a former deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who was sworn in as president in 2011 after an acrimonious and bloody election, is reported recuperating in France after undergoing a surgery.
Having stubbornly fought to occupy the exulted office as President, rumors about President Ouattara?s ill-health has been rife in the world?s leading cocoa producing nation.? Perhaps, this was confirmed by his persistent health trips to France under seemingly urgent circumstances.
The latest of such health trips, which opposition elements say is creating power vacuums, was a brief statement from the presidency last week that President Ouattara had successfully undergone surgery of sciatica and would returned home after a brief recovery period in France.
This has sparked heated debates in Ivory Coast with opposition elements whining over the constant absence of the president and his inability to supervise the business of running the country due to age-related ill-health.
Owing to this, the country?s main opposition party, Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) is said to have joined the chorus of Ivorians calling for greater transparency regarding the health status of President Ouattara.
he head of FPI, Affi N?guessan, was quoted by an Ivorian news agency last week to have retorted “We’re not taking advantage of the president’s health condition. It’s a normal thing to fall sick and get treatment. What we and the entire population need is clarity from the government. What really happened? Where is he now? And when is he returning to the country..? And [can] his continuous absence be described as a power vacuum?”
In the midst of the raging controversy, presidential secretary Amadou Gon Coulibaly declined to comment on the issue, saying his office had already issued an official statement.
Meanwhile, there are reports in the Ivorian media about how the citizens have regretted voting for an aged President who could not spend three month without travelling overseas for medical checkup.
Ironically, while Ivorians are lamenting and biting their nails over having a Septuagenarian as president, Ghana?s twice defeated presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have been praying Ghanaians to take a cue from the Ivorians and vote for him to become president in the 2017 when he will be 73.
Addressing a rally in Accra, the former Foreign Affairs minister and MP for Abuakwa South stated ?There are people going around saying that I am not well so I can?t do the job. I don?t know whether they are my doctors, and they have an idea of what is happening to me. But I?m very certain that I am strong, and I can do the work ?Give me the opportunity to do for Ghana what Alassane Ouattara is doing for La Cote d?Ivoire.? Bottom of Form