Politics

“Presidents are human beings and mortals” – Northern group speaks on Tinubu’s slip

A Northern group, Arewa Think Tank (ATTK), has stated that many presidents across the globe have slipped in the past, citing the examples of US President, Joe Biden; and former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro.

The group was reacting to the slip of President Bola Tinubu at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Wednesday during the Democracy Day celebrations.

The Chief Convener of ATTK, Muhammad Alhaji Yakubu, said there was nothing abnormal, saying as human beings anybody could walk and slip irrespective of position in the society.

According to Yakubu, there were no issues with the President because he only missed his steps and his security details and some aides immediately rushed to him and assisted him to regain his balance.

His words: “Not just President Tinubu, anyone alive can walk and fall; it happened to President Biden and Fidel Castro. Presidents are human beings and mortals.

“We can go on and on about such incidents all over the world including Obama, Xi Jinping, Arap Moi, Jomo Kenyatta.

“President Joe Biden’s fall at the US Air Force Academy captured global attention. However, he is not the only political figure to have such an incident.

“From Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s 2019 slip, dubbed the “great fall of China,” to Gerald Ford’s 1975 tumble from Air Force One, such incidents often become fodder for public scrutiny and humour.

“When high-profile figures fall, it disrupts their image of invulnerability. Bart Cammaerts, a professor at the London School of Economics, noted that these moments break the carefully constructed public images of politicians. For Biden, critics used the fall to highlight his age and question his fitness for office.

“Seeing politicians in these vulnerable moments can be oddly compelling. Dan Stevens, a professor at Exeter University, remarked that such incidents are gripping because they reveal a loss of control from people who usually manage their public image meticulously.

“There are other notable political falls such as Hillary Clinton (2016), Clinton stumbled during a 9/11 memorial service in New York due to illness. The incident, attributed to pneumonia and dehydration, became a campaign issue, with her rival Donald Trump questioning her stamina for office.

“Donald Trump (2020). Trump’s unsteady descent down a ramp at the U.S. Military Academy in 2020 led to criticism and the hashtag #TrumpIsNotWell. Trump defended himself, blaming the ramp’s steepness and slipperiness.

“Gerald Ford (1975). Ford fell while disembarking Air Force One in Salzburg. The fall was widely broadcast and mocked in late-night comedy, reinforcing an image of clumsiness.

“Xi Jinping (2019). Xi nearly fell off a stage in Russia during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a moment dubbed the “great fall of China” by commentators.

“Robert Mugabe (2015).Mugabe stumbled down steps in Harare. The government denied the fall, blaming poor carpeting.

“Vladimir Putin (2019). Putin fell during a victory lap in an ice hockey game, highlighting the vulnerability of a leader known for projecting strength.

“Boris Johnson (2015). Johnson slipped during a charity tug-of-war game, adding to his image of a dishevelled and nonchalant politician.

“Helle Thorning-Schmidt (2015). The Danish Prime Minister fell while exiting the Elysee Palace in Paris, quickly recovering to take questions from reporters.

“Margaret Thatcher (1982). Thatcher’s fall after meetings in Beijing was seen as symbolic of Britain’s waning power during negotiations over Hong Kong.

“So it is our sincere stand that those rejoicing over the slip and missing steps by President Tinubu are enemies of the country, and there is nothing they can do than to wait for their time because Tinubu is healthy and working hard to take Nigeria to greater heights.”

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