I received scores of responses to my columns of the last two weeks that contextualized and explained Buhari’s recent “President Michelle of West Germany” gaffe by drawing parallels between this gaffe and the gaffes made by US presidents. Below is a sample:
I am a regular reader of your columns because I find all your posts educative, thus interesting. Your columns on PMB's senior moments are, for me, one of the best columns of yours I have read so far. I hadn't the vaguest idea what senior moment was until I read your columns. However, even more educative is this last column which not only complements the previous one but which shows us the other side of the almighty Obama. Thanks, Dr. Kperogi, for helping us to see the human-ness of these leaders-cum-politicians.
This is by far the smartest “defence” (I know you will protest my calling your article a defence of Buhari) of President Buhari’s embarrassing miscue yet. His media aides simply went to bed and hoped that the issue would die down. They appear not to have the intellectual capacity to offer any perspective on why our president embarrassed us. I was one of the people who severely criticized the president over the gaffe. I actually called him a clueless old man until someone directed me to your articles. Although I wasn’t prepared to be persuaded when I started reading your article, you blew me away after I was done. That was some deep stuff. I didn’t know legendary American presidents made worse mistakes than our president. I laughed so hard when I read where you said President Nixon was in France for the funeral of the country’s president and forgot why he was there and then said, “This is a great day for France!” Classic! Haha! And Obama calling his place of birth “Asia”? Wow! Buhari’s “President Michelle of West Germany” gaffe is mild compared to the examples you gave in your articles. Thank you for the pleasurable and informative articles. You just won a new fan from Enugu.
A delicate balancing act! There is something for everybody. Buharists will like the fact that occasional memory lapses are natural and excusable, while satirists and Jonathanians can laugh at the gaffes without the pangs of guilt.
Spot on. When President Buhari called German Chancellor Merkel “President Michelle of West Germany,” he essentially offered “red meat” to his carnivorous haters on a platter. No objective person who has studied President Buhari closely would disagree with the fact that he is level-headed, thoughtful and deliberate in his actions. That said, his aides have to be taken to task for failing to prep him well. They have to up their game on how to protect President Buhari from making such a mistake in future. The daily briefing book of the POTUS (actually an iPad App) has basic information about world leaders and relevant information about their countries to keep the POTUS up to speed to mitigate newsworthy mistakes.
Prof, I'm an avid reader of your weekly columns and so far I haven't had a reason to go against any of your articles. In this case, though, I take an exception. While I'm not going to label the president clueless, old or ignorant, he's definitely careless and those around him are most likely going to be his downfall. His calling the German Chancellor Michelle and her country West Germany is a slap to Nigerians. His woopsie would have been forgiven if he were a different or lesser person, but he's the freaking president. He represents us abroad. I also will disagree on your label of a "senior citizen moment". You don't go to a meeting with other State heads and you don't know their names or that of their country. It's irresponsible and careless. We demand better preparation for him by his handlers next time. Today it's West Germany, tomorrow it might be him calling Obama "Osama".
Brilliant article, though I take slight issue with you for saying that we the legion of supporters of the General are humourless. Some of us had a laugh over it as well.
Yes...we hope PMB and his legion of zealous supporters will laugh because more gaffes will come and Nigerians will laugh at them. So they should learn to live with it. Patience Jonathan learnt to live with her own blunders and showed an attitude of "l no send you"... She was ridiculed and the world didn't come to an end.
Kai Prof! You are really making my day. I found this and the last one educative and entertaining. I enjoyed the articles not because they provide some shield to PMB but because I now know that anybody is liable to experience senior moments. I notice I tend to forget easily or unable to retrieve certain information that is done very recently. I became disturbed. Seriously. I was thinking of visiting the hospital until I read your articles. I am now relieved. I know the reason. But, to my amazement, I retain more Qur'an now (in my senior moments) than before! Once again, thank you Prof.