The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, hit the social media space for the wrong reason on Monday when he was caught up in a gaffe while delivering a speech at KadInvest in Kaduna State.
In what one of his campaign media aides later described as a Freudian slip, Tinubu said Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s vision, creativity and resilience in “turning a rotten situation into a bad one are necessary at this critical time.”
Earlier on Saturday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had also goofed while addressing Arewa Joint Committee at Arewa House in Kaduna, saying Nigeria did not need a Yoruba or an Igbo president.
While they could be embarrassing, public figures in Nigeria, including President Muhammadu Buhari, and beyond are occasionally trapped in bloomers. Daily Trust highlights some of such goofs made by notable Nigerian politicians.
Buhari addresses Osibanjo as Osibade
President Muhammadu Buhari has committed a couple of blunders which have attracted public derision. Among them was during the 2015 presidential campaign in Owerri, Imo State, where he addressed his then running mate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo as “Osibade.”
During his introductory remarks, while acknowledging the dignitaries present, Buhari said, “The Chairman of our great party, Chief Oyegun. Your Excellency, my vice presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osibade….”
Also during a panel discussion at the Climate Action Summit of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, Buhari went off the tangent while responding to a question from the moderator.
The moderator had asked: “President Buhari, Nigeria has a very young population; perhaps you might highlight what a pathway for a resilient future looks like?”
Responding, the President began reading from a prepared speech that detailed Nigeria’s entire policy around climate change.
“Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I share the sentiment expressed by the secretary-general that the world is on the verge of climate catastrophe. Undeniably, climate change is a human-induced phenomenon….”
Ngige mistakes Fayose for Fayemi during campaign
During the governorship campaign in Ekiti in 2018, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, unwittingly implored the Ekiti people to vote the then Governor Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) instead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
The minister made the gaffe at APC mega rally held in Ado-Ekiti ahead of the governorship election. Fayose was not one of the contestants in the July 14 governorship election. He backed his deputy, Prof. Kola Olusola, the candidate of the PDP.
Speaking in Pidgin English, Ngige unknowingly said Fayose, a staunch critic of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari, was the better choice.
He said, “Will it happen on Saturday? Those who want Saturday with Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) and everything to happen raise your hands.
“Mr. President and leaders of our party, the people have agreed and on Saturday, it will happen. We thank the leaders of our party, especially those from the South-west for forgiving Ekiti people for the mistake they made in 2014.
“They won’t make that mistake again. If you marry two wives, you will know the better wife. Fayose (sic) is the better wife. Fayose cooks and gives her husband food. She doesn’t give him trouble. So you must bring Back Fayose on Saturday.”
Atiku’s ethnic comment
Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate, goofed on Saturday when he declared in Kaduna that the North should shun southern candidates in next year’s presidential election.
In an interactive session with a group of northern political leaders under the Arewa Joint Committee at Arewa House, Kaduna, Atiku was asked by the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, why Northerners should vote for him.
He replied, “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country.
“This is what the Northerner needs; it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
Rotten to bad by Tinubu
Tinubu, the presidential candidate of APC, was goofed when he gave a speech on his plans for Nigeria at the Kaduna Economic and Investment summit on Saturday.
During the speech, he then curiously said Mr El-rufai could turn a rotten situation into a bad one.
“I am openly begging Nasir El-Rufai not to run away for additional degree and excuse. He is going to Cairo—PhD and everything. There are a lot of educated relics. We are not going to let you run away, your vision, creativity and resilience in turning a rotten situation into a bad one are necessary at this critical time. That is why we are here today,” he said.