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President Tinubu stumbles during Democracy Day ceremony in Abuja

It was not meant to be a big deal but it became headline news for the media especially foreign press

The BBC reports that during the celebration marking 25 years of democracy in Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu slipped and fell. The incident occurred as the 72-year-old president ascended the steps of a vehicle intended to transport him around Eagle Square in Abuja.

The broadcaster reports that eyewitnesses saw the president needing assistance to regain his footing. However, his aide quickly downplayed the fall, referring to it as a “mild misstep.” “He immediately went on with the ceremonial rounds. No issues,” assured Dada Olusegun, one of Tinubu’s aides, on X.

Former Vice President and Tinubu’s main rival in the last 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,” Abubakar posted on X.


Reacting to the incident, popular politician and activist Shehu Sani remarked that such occurrences are normal. “Not Just President Tinubu, anyone alive can trip and fall; it happened to President Biden and Fidel Castro. Presidents are human beings and mortals,” Sani commented, highlighting the shared vulnerabilities of global leaders.

Public reactions varied, with X user Arinze Odira describing the fall as “scary to watch,” while Nigerian Charles Awuzie shared his emotional response on Facebook: “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.”

Earlier in the day, President Tinubu delivered a heartfelt Democracy Day speech, emphasising the importance of democracy as a way of life for Nigerians. “My fellow Nigerians, let me begin by congratulating all of us for witnessing the celebration of another Democracy Day today, the 12th day of June 2024. This year also marks our nation’s 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance,” he began. Tinubu highlighted the struggles and sacrifices made by notable figures such as Chief MKO Abiola, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, and others who fought for Nigeria’s democratic freedom.

“We must remind ourselves that no matter how complicated democracy may be, it is the best form of governance in the long run,” Tinubu asserted, addressing the challenges and reforms needed to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and economy. He pledged to send an executive bill to the National Assembly for a new national minimum wage and emphasised the importance of reasoned discussion and principled compromise in democratic governance.


While the majority of Nigerians have shown support and wished the president a speedy recovery, the incident has reignited discussions about Tinubu’s health. Questions regarding his physical condition had been a focal point for his opponents during the campaign for last year’s tightly contested election.

Source: BBC

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