ON RECORD: Eight Presidents, Prime Ministers Who Fell During Public Events

As talks about the misstep which resulted in the fall of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Eagle Square during a parade to mark Nigeria’s 25 democracy day celebration rage on; INSIDER NG presents a list of other world leaders, Presidents and Prime Ministers, who fell during a public ceremony.

1. Joe Biden: Like Mr Tinubu, the 46th U.S. president’s physical capability is of major public concern. In June 2023, Mr Biden fell down on stage while handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy. He was reported to have stumbled on a sandbag, which tripped him. The 81-year-old, who survived the incident without being hurt joking, told reporters that he “got sandbagged.”

2. Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, slipped and was so close to landing on the floor during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2019. He was on the stage with UN Secretary General António Guterres and other world leaders when Mr Xi slowly started to fall before he was rescued by security personnel.

3. Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader who loves to display his aura, saw himself on the floor during a 2019 hockey game he played in. He was doing a victory lap around Sochi’s Bolshoy Ice Dome and applauding fans when he slammed on the floor.

4. Robert Mugabe, the late Zimbabwean Prime Minister, saw himself flying down a red carpet in 2015 upon arriving at the country’s capital city of Harare. Some journalists were forced to delete videos and photos of the incident to suppress the embarrassment.

5. Gerald Ford, the 38th U.S. president, was captured falling down by the media while disembarking from Air Force One during an overseas trip to Salzburg, Austria, in 1975. “Thank you for your gracious welcome to Salzburg, and I am sorry I tumbled in,” Mr Ford said.

6. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the 26th Danish prime minister, landed on her knees and hands while walking down the stairs during a 2015 visit to France’s Elysee Palace. She let out a scream as she slipped.

7. Boris Johnson, the former United Kingdom prime minister, was a victim of an epic fall after he tripped and landed on the floor during a charity tug-of-war game at a World War I commemoration event with Britain’s armed forces in 2015.

8. Margaret Thatcher is another former United Kingdom prime minister on the list. In 1982, during a political meeting in Beijing about negotiating the future of the then-British colonial territory of Hong Kong, Ms Thatcher slipped and fell while leaving the Great Hall of the People.

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