July 23, 2024

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu has reacted to slipping and falling in the bucket of an official parade vehicle at an official event to mark 25 years of democracy in the country.

The president, 72, fell as he climbed the steps on a vehicle which was supposed to take him around Eagle Square in the capital, Abuja.

He had to be helped to get back to his feet.

Reacting to the incident later in the evening at a dinner in Abuja, Tinubu described the fall as a ‘swagger.’

“Early this morning I had a swagger and it is on social media. They are confused whether I was doing buga or doing baban riga.

“But it is a day to celebrate democracy while doing dobale (Yoruba tradition of prostration) for the day. I am a traditionally Yoruba boy, I did my dobale,” he said as the hall erupted in laughter.

Reactions after the incident

One of his aides described it as a “mild misstep” and said the president had been able to continue with the rest of the programme.

“He immediately went on with the ceremonial rounds. No issues,” wrote presidential aide Dada Olusegun on X.

Mr Tinubu’s closest challenger during last year’s election, Atiku Abubakar, expressed his sympathy.

“I sincerely sympathise with President Bola Tinubu over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I do hope that all is well with him,” he wrote on X.

Popular politician and activist Shehu Sani said it was no big deal, and that the incident showed the president is no different to anyone else.

“Not Just President Tinubu, anyone alive can trip and fall; it happened to President Biden and Fidel Castro. Presidents are human beings and mortals.”

X user Arinze Odira said the fall was “scary to watch”.
Another Nigerian Charles Awuzie posted on Facebook that he got emotional after seeing the clip.

“Whether it is President Biden or President Tinubu, I usually feel hurt when a human gets hurt in the place of service. I wish the president well.”

While most Nigerians have expressed their sympathy and best wishes, for some it has reignited questions about his health, which were raised by his opponents during the campaign for last year’s tightly contested election.

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