• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024


Jun 22, 2024


Suffice it to say that it is very unfortunate that some Nigerians derive pleasure to ridicule or tease others for what they may discern as their weaknesses or deficiencies, instead of showing empathy and understanding. Every individual has their concerns and struggles, and it’s not a decent and healthy culture for us as a people to assess others based on what gives them pain or discomfort. People should strive to cultivate a culture of support and respect where everyone’s emotions and needs are analyzed and valued.

In my opinion, I see the following as several potential explanations for why some individuals may take pleasure in the discomfort or pain of others. One of such is the possibility of a psychological sensation called schadenfreude, which refers to the contentment or satisfaction derived from the misfortunes of others. This may stem from feelings of jealousy or resentment towards others, or a fascination to feel superior or dominant. Also, some individuals may simply lack empathy or social skills, and therefore do not understand the emotional trauma of their actions on others.

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It is also possible that political, cultural or societal factors may play a role in stimulating a competitive or cutthroat psyche that values success at all costs, even if it means causing harm to others. Howbeit, trying to understand and address these complex psychological, political, cultural and social factors, is key to promoting empathy, compassion, and a more positive and supportive society, where peace and justice reign, supreme.

Yes, I agree that as citizens, it is crucial to hold those in positions of authority accountable for their actions and ensure they work towards good governance, and the press (leading the people) plays a crucial role in ensuring transparency and informing the public of any blunder committed by our political leaders. However, the focus and making of highlights on human errors and trivial adventures, such as a political office holder having a slip or staggers when walking or in an attempt to climb on a podium (which can happen to anyone) is tantamount to pursuing the shadows and leaving the substances (which are the more significant issues to handle) to stand tall and intimidating. The media, by dissipating its efforts to concentrate on such minor missteps, creates a false narrative and distraction from the real issues that need to be addressed. This can lead to a lack of trust in the media and a disconnect between the public and political leaders.

Making a mockery of President Bola Tinubu over his slip when he attempted to mount on a podium on the 25th democracy day anniversary smacks of indecent and ungodly behaviour and such behaviour do not suit us as the people we want the international community to believe we are.

I am not one of the President’s media representatives, nor do I know anyone who works for him. I write this article as someone who upholds strong ethical and moral values; and who recognizes the importance of treating everyone with empathy and respect, irrespective of their political, religious, or ethnic backgrounds. I believe that mocking a political leader over their health issues is insensitive and unproductive, as it does not contribute to the discourse on governance and policy-making.

However, I also understand the importance of holding political leaders accountable for their actions and decisions. I believe that criticism should be directed towards the policies and actions of the leaders rather than their personal attributes like health. I would call out any political leader who fails to deliver on their promises, or who engages in corrupt practices, or who makes decisions that negatively impact the lives of the common man. Thus, I strike a fine balance between empathy and criticism and I believe in upholding high moral values while expressing my views on governance.

President Bola Tinubu is not the only leader in the world who once  fell while climbing on a podium or walking. It is important to note that slip-ups and falls can happen to anyone, including world leaders, and it is not a reflection of their leadership qualities. World leaders who suffered slip-ups or falls while climbing a podium or stairs at various points in history are:

  1. President Gerald Ford of the United States slipped and fell in 1975 on the wet steps of Air Force One;
  2. Pope Francis of Vatican City slipped and fell in March 2013 while climbing stairs during a visit to the Vatican;
  3. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany tripped on a red carpet while climbing stairs at an event in Berlin in 2014;
  4. President Vladimir Putin of Russia stumbled and nearly fell while ascending stairs at an event in Moscow in 2016;
  5. Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom appeared to lose her footing while walking downstairs during a visit to India in 2017. The list is endless.

Instead of dissipating all our efforts to make fun of trivial issues such as the slip-ups or fall of political office holders which also can happen to anyone, let us show empathy and love at such times.  Let the press beam its searchlights on the larger picture and highlight instances of derailments in providing the dividend of democracy to the people and also promote the good policies formulated by the government by enlightening the people to monitor their leaders from their constituencies closely to ensure that the policies are well implemented to usher in good governance and positive change, as well. It is instructive to note that by drawing attention to significant accomplishments or successful policies of the government, the public can feel more engaged and motivated to participate in the democratic process.

In conclusion, there is a need for active participation and communication between the people and their elected officials. This could include people attending town hall meetings, writing letters or emails to their representatives, and (sometimes) organizing a peaceful walk or rally to express their concerns or demands for better governance. The media should focus more on encouraging citizens to take responsibility for holding their leaders accountable and advocating for the policies and reforms that they believe will promote greater transparency, accountability, and fairness in government. Ultimately, the success of this approach depends on building trust between the people and political leaders, fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect, and creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue and engagement on issues affecting the society or community as a whole.

In conclusion, while the media (being the mouthpiece of the people) plays an essential role in holding political leaders accountable, they should avoid focusing on inconsequential happenings and instead provide objective and comprehensive coverage. By doing so, a better-informed public and good governance can be fostered and promoted by the media.