TINUBU WON’T BE THE LAST TO FALL, BY WOLE ARISEKOLA


Tinubu stumbled on stage during the Democracy Day event in Abuja. He joins a list of world leaders who have had public falls, including Biden, Trump, Obama, Xi Jinping, Arap Moi, Jomo Kenyatta, and Buhari.

 

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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 humor.

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.

Here are other notable political falls:

1. **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.

2. **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.

3. **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.

4. **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.

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

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

7. **Boris Johnson (2015)**: Johnson slipped during a charity tug-of-war game, adding to his image of a disheveled and nonchalant politician.

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

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

And BARAK OBAMA :

https://youtu.be/sFNKHETmTf0?si=8UxGbWmp2EECkUO3

In today’s media landscape, such incidents are scrutinized and often perpetuated through memes and social media, extending their impact beyond the immediate moment.

Additional report by Mogaji Wole Arisekola

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