Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka has reacted to a video showing members of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), better known as the Pyrates Confraternity mocking the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Pyrates Confraternity Mocks Bola Tinubu
KanyiDaily recalls that members of Pyrates Confraternity were caught on camera mocking the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
In a viral video, the group were heard taunting the former Lagos governor over his speech in Ogun State, where he said in Yoruba that President Muhammadu Buhari should hand over power to him because it’s his turn to rule Nigeria.
Dressed in red and white attire, members of the Pyrates Confraternity mocked Tinubu for shouting “emi lokan”, which means “it’s my turn” despite his failing health.
They were singing: “Emi lokan (2X), Baba wey no well, him dey shout Emi lokan. Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, Baba wey no well, e de shout Emilokan.”
The video has sparked mixed reactions on social media with Tinubu’s critics teasing the APC presidential candidate, while his followers condemned the act.
Soyinka Distance Himself From Pyrates Confraternity Video
Reacting to the video in a statement issued on Monday, Soyinka described the action as distastful and appalling, saying he was not a part of the performance and he is not in anyway connected to the feelings the remarks were intended to convey.
The Nobel laureate, who is the founder of the Pyrates Confraternity, said while members have the freedom to express themselves, it is necessary for him to comment on the video because he is “connected” with the group.
Soyinka said, “My attention has been drawn to a video clip making internet rounds, of a dancing and chanting group, in red and white costume, purportedly members of the Pyrates Confraternity.
“The display acidly targets a presidential candidate in the awaited 2023 elections. Since the whole world knows of my connection with that fraternity, it is essential that I state in clear, unambiguous terms, that I am not involved in that public performance, nor in any way associated with the sentiments expressed in the songs.
“Like any other civic group, the Pyrates Confraternity is entitled to its freedom of expression, individually or collectively. So also is Wole Soyinka in his own person. I do not interfere in, nor do I attempt dictate the partisan political choices of the Confraternity. I remain unaware that the association ever engages in a collective statement of sponsorship or repudiation of any candidate This is clearly a new and bizarre development, fraught with unpredictable consequences.
“In addition, let me make the following cultural affirmation. I have listened to the lyrics of the chant intently and I am frankly appalled. I find it distasteful. I belong to a culture where we do not mock physical afflictions or disabilities. Very much the contrary.
“The Yoruba religion indeed designate a deity, Obatala, as the divine protector of the afflicted, no matter the nature of such affliction. This sensibility is engrained in us from childhood and remains with us all our lives. It operates on the principle of mortal frailty to which all humanity remains vulnerable.”
Soyinka added that further statement will be issued when “I have made further enquiries into this strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association”.
KanyiDaily recalls that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi had also denied allegation that he is a member of the Pyrates Confraternity.