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  • Updated: June 13, 2024

June 12: Tinubu returns “Brother Bernard” trend after Democracy Day fall

June 12: Tinubu returns “Brother Bernard” trend after De

Years after a popular sound tagged “Brother Bernard” trended on social media and attracted thousands of pieces of content, the sound has again returned to the internet, gaining visibility and attention.

Allnews.ng reported that Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu had a misstep while trying to review the presidential guard during a ceremony at the Eagle Square arena in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, on Wednesday. This unforeseen misstep caused the President to slip, but he quickly returned to his feet and continued with the official engagement.

June 12?

It is noteworthy that June 12 is declared Democracy Day, a significant day in the history of Nigeria's political ecosystem dedicated to celebrating the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and other heroes of Nigerian democracy, both deceased and living.

Allnews.ng recalls that presidential elections were held in Nigeria on June 12, 1993, the first since the 1983 military coup ended the country's Second Republic. The elections were the outcome of a transitional process to civilian rule spearheaded by the military ruler, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

The unofficial result of the election – though not declared by the National Electoral Commission, NEC – indicated a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention, NRC. The winner of the election was thus never declared as the elections were annulled by Babangida, citing electoral irregularities.

The annulment led to protests and political unrest, including Babangida's resignation and a weak interim civilian government, culminating in the continuation of military rule with Sani Abacha ascending to power via a bloodless coup later that year.

How Nigerians Reacted to the Fall

Following the “unfortunate incident,” as described by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the video captured on TVC News live-stream has attracted a series of controversies, comments, and criticism from Nigerians on the internet.

While some sympathized with the President, claiming that slipping can happen to anyone, other netizens who are not fans of the President used the opportunity to claim he is over-aged and unfit to rule the nation.

Content creators from popular social media platforms, including X (formerly known as Twitter) and ByteDance-owned TikTok, decided to tap into the opportunity to create content. An observation by an Allnews.ng correspondent revealed that thousands of pieces of content have been generated on TikTok in less than 20 hours.

While some manipulated the video of the President’s slip, others mocked the President by mimicking his steps and the situation, adding the “Brother Bernard” sound.

The Sound “Brother Bernard”

The sound tagged “Brother Bernard” can originally be traced to a local community in Ghana. It was a scene of grief as some members of a yet-to-be-identified community lost a cherished spiritual leader simply known as Brother Bernard.

Family, friends, and church members showed up to pay their last respects as the deceased cleric was about to be buried. The video captured people in mourning, but a woman who was deeply pained by the death mistook her step and fell into the burial ditch while uttering “Brother Bernard.” The audience, surprised by the fall, chorused “yeee,” and it has since become popular content in the Nigerian internet space and beyond.

I Prostrated for Democracy — Tinubu Reacts

Following the incident that generated buzz on the internet, loyalists of the President maintained that mistaking one’s step is normal. Some fans noted that the current President of the United States, Joe Biden, experienced a similar situation, and the citizens of the US didn’t overreact.

President Tinubu acknowledged the incident, speaking during the Democracy Day celebration dinner held in Abuja on Wednesday night. The President jokingly mentioned the incident.

In his words, he said:

“Early this morning, I had a swagger, and it’s on social media. They are confused whether I was doing Buga or doing Baba Riga. But it is a day to celebrate democracy, while doing dobale (prostrating) for the day.

“I am a traditionally Yoruba boy; I did my ‘dobale’.” the President said.

While netizens found the scene as an avenue to amass likes, follows, and comments on their social media platforms, the government continued with their operations.

Tinubu was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after a keenly contested election. The President has since implemented some policies, which the masses have described as inhumane. The prices of food and essential commodities have, however, shot up, leading to widespread lamentation.

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