A Tripping Jagaban By Bolaji O. Akinyemi

His official Chieftancy Title is the Asiwaju of Lagos but arguably; the political Asiwaju of the Yoruba nation and the one and only undisputed National leader of the APC, no one can take anything away from the enigmatic Bola Ahmed Tinubu when it comes to Politics, but ageing as in nature like God, it’s no respecter of persons. It sneaked up on Asiwaju too, too early. 

The event was the 2021 Arewa House Lecture,, the 11th Saudana Leadership lecture series, where he was the Chairman of the occasion, all eyes were on him, he was there at the city of the little finger in the Nigeria game of thrones who once showed up in Lagos to teach Muiz Banire and his co-political travellers how to sack political Godfathers. Which he boasted he has done successfully in Kaduna State. If Tinubu must trip, why should it be in Kaduna? The threat to sack him from politics remained an empty threat until ageing showed its hands. Tinubu was walking by the high Table, exchanging pleasantries with other dignitaries when the unexpected happened, from a close study of the video of the event available, it was his left knee that buckled, then the right followed, the struggle that followed showed a body that was hopelessly following his knees, though he staggered his security details rescued him in time from what would have been the fall of a southern grace on a northern grass. Eye witness says, the drama was plotted by a sudden decent in the floor level. This however has been generating some concern for his health and has become a public debate of the state of his health fitness for what lies ahead.

Ageing comes to us in different forms particularly from age 60, this may become pronounced at 70, a recent research has shown that at 70 to 71 a man is considered old, the women has two years advantage over their male counterparts theirs is pegged at 73. There are however exceptions to this research findings.

In preparation for my mother, late Dorcas Aduke Ogunseye’s 70th birthday in 2010 I had travelled to Ibadan in company of one of my sisters to make necessary arrangements for a successful event, one of which was to decide the event Center and make payment. We were received at our family house by my father who was then 74, he advised that we should leave the car to make our movements and connections with different events easier. We chased after our 74 years old father all through the movements in the terrain of Apata Ganga, if you know what I mean. He was very fit while our mother, was already a pitiable sight of her articulate self, mama teacher had memory challenges. My father recently celebrated his 90th on the 11th of March 2021, still showing fitness, I wished President Muhammadu Buhari can. I am sure his driver can’t get him to sign any documents, nor take any undue advantage of him.

Ageing is not a curse but the reality of challenges we are bound to face at certain periods in our lives, it comes with joint changes, raging from minor stiffness to severe arthritis, bones are easily broken at this period if a fall occurs. Memory loss is the worst of it.

What Jagaban displayed in Kaduna was not different from General Muhammadu Buhari’s experience in the build up to 2019 elections, the then Presidential candidate of the APC tripped in Lokoja at the campaign ground, wether it was caused by sudden stiffness of his joints or severe arthritis no one could tell, for our joke of a nation, never provided us a second opinion, if only for political reasons as in Asiwaju’s case. 

The President went on to show several other signs of ageing during his electioneering campaigns.Loss of memory, with difficulty to recognize faces was his bane in Delta State, where he mistook the party Chairman for the State Gubernatorial Candidate and raised his hands to a bemoaned crowd. The situation came to the head when on the set of the candidate hosted by Kadara live on NTA. His obvious ageing sign will later inform my question to the Vice President at the Grill a platform for campaign with Pastors in Lagos.
My question was coloured without sentiments; Sir, given the embarrassments Nigerians were thrown to, by the incoherent responses of Mr President on the candidate, and your attempts at allaying his thoughts in the direction of the questions without success, will you before God and man say that the President is mentally and physically fit for the rigours of duties, if elected as the President? The answer to that question posterity has given contrary to what the Vice President made us believe. 

If only ours is a country where the health of our President matters, if only ours is a country where democracy is practiced. The state would have carried out the duty it owes us of making known our President’s state of health then, failure to do that should have led to our demand for medical investigations into the reasons our President, tripped in Kogi, fumbled in Delta and was demented at the candidate. We however carried on as usual as if nothing had happened, the consequences of our inaction is a President deceived by his driver to sign a multi million naira contract. How many of such deceptions our President has and will suffer before he will hand over in 2023 is left to the days ahead to reveal.

President Mohammadu Buhari, in his honest state of mind had informed us after his election in 2015, that he will serve for a term of four years, he gave the toil of age on his body and mind as his reason. However a man known for one thing, which is keeping to his words, changed it and his life time earning of integrity was squandered. 

Nigerians must avoid a repeat of Buhari’s incompetence which is compounded in this 2nd term by his being incoherent. We are obviously under a President; decisions are taken for and duties discharged by proxy. 

Without doubting the floor excuse, Tinubu’s tripling in Kaduna is worrisome, probably a sign of old age that cooperated with the floor, which must have been as a result of knee buckling, also known as knee instability or weak knees. Frequent knee buckling raises the risk of falling and serious injuries, how often this has been happening is left to Asiwaju to let us know. This should be investigated medically, so that we can figure out the underlying causes. Nature has a way of showing its impact on us with aging differently, while I have nothing against old men and women of Asiwaju’s age who want to serve the nation. But everyone who truly loves them should be worried when tripping becomes regular. 

Asiwaju tripped again in Kano, and this time it was worse than Kaduna. He did, when adducing reasons for moving his birthday colloquium from Lagos to Kano. Though, it is his responsibility and that of his political family and fans to decide wherever they want him celebrated. He said he did, to prove that Fulani and Yoruba are one. This obviously is a tripping from historical facts and also of the reality of the state of the nation. If Asiwaju is losing grip of historical facts and is unaware of our today’s realities. Then friends and foes should be concerned. Was it just a slip of the tongue? 

If parapraxis, that seems to inadvertently reveal an unconscious thought or attitude. A concept dated back to the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud’s research. A recent research conducted in the year of our second Republic 1979 at UC Davis gave accumulated stress as causes of regular tongue tripping or slip of the tongue.

To save us from the risk of fostering any invalid on ourselves in 2023. I will suggest that a bill should be drafted by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and should be forwarded to the National Assembly insisting on a comprehensive medical examination for everyone offering themselves for service to our nation who are above the age of 60, which must be made public. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the calamity that has become our lot as a result of the uncertainty of the mental state of the President is avoided post 2023.

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