Former Lagos State Governor and acclaimed National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, on Saturday stumbled as he made his way to his seat in the auditorium where the 2021 annual Arewa House Lecture was held.
It is unclear if Mr Tinubu, 68, missed his steps, but his aides were quick to grab him from falling flat, as seen in a viral footage.
The APC chieftain, dressed in flowing Agbada, chaired the 11th edition of the event on Saturday in Kaduna where he spoke on the topic “Reduction of the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Northern Nigeria in a Post-COVID-19 Era.”
Tinubu, at the event, admitted the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which in its recent report stated that Nigeria’s unemployment rate sprang up to 33.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2020.
According to him, “in the midst of our local challenges came the COVID-19 pandemic, with its debilitating impact on the global and domestic economies. Nigeria, like many other countries, has not been spared the impact of the pandemic.”
Mr Tinubu warned that though Nigeria’s relapse into recession has ended, the economy remains weak “with too much unemployment and resources left idle.”
He added that “Fiscal wisdom but not necessarily austerity is required for an economy like ours in a time like this, to ensure equitable wealth redistribution and meaningful use of resources.
“The years have shown that the private sector is much too weak to spur the growth we need. If the private sector could manage this feat, it would have already done so. Where the private sector is too weak or unable, the government must fill the void.”
The APC chieftain, who has ramped up his nationwide consultation in preparation for his 2023 presidential run may yet again come under renewed scrutiny for his health.
In 2014, many media reports, citing a now deleted Daily Trust report said he was down with Parkinson’s disease and was hurriedly flown abroad for treatment. His aide denied the report and not much has been heard about his health ever since.