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Pyrates Confraternity Reacts To Viral Video Of Members Mocking Tinubu’s Health, Shaky Hands


The organisation condemned in very strong terms those making political gains out of the video, insisting that it is apolitical and does not have any preferred candidate for the upcoming 2023 presidential elections. 

The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has said the viral video mocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu is being taken out of context for political gains. 


The organisation condemned in very strong terms those making political gains out of the video, insisting that it is apolitical and does not have any preferred candidate for the upcoming 2023 presidential elections. 


In a video, members of the Confraternity during a procession gyrated to an anti-Tinubu song and poked fun at Tinubu for a speech he made in June in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he asked that power should be handed over to him.    


The members of the Pyrates Confraternity sang, “Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, Baba wey no well, e de shout emi lo kan (Hands are shaking, legs are shaking. A sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’).   


“Emi lo kan (2ce), Baba wey no well, him dey shout emi lokan (It’s my turn (2ce), a sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’”.   


Tinubu, who seemed desperate during the speech had said, ‘Emi lo kan’, meaning ‘It’s my turn’.   


He narrated how he consoled President Muhammadu Buhari after he had failed three times to become Nigeria’s President. Eventually, a political alliance spearheaded by Tinubu ensured Buhari won the presidential election in 2015.   


However, Prof Wole Soyinka, one of the revered founders of the organisation had in an interim statement on the viral video described it as distasteful.     


“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 earlier said in a statement.  


“One of my favorite authors, about whom, by a coincidence, I had cause to write quite recently, was CLR James, author of The Black Jacobins, Beyond A Boundary etc. etc. I called him my ideological uncle. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, but remained alert, lucid and combative for decades after the onset of the disease. We interacted politically at the Tanzanian pan-African Congress, the Dakar Festival of Negro Arts and a number of other cultural and political fora.  


“We met frequently in his lifetime, dined together in restaurants, despite his challenge. it would be unthinkable, and a desecration of his memory to be part of any activity that mocked his affliction. A further statement will be issued when I have made further enquiries into this strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association.”  


The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a press statement entitled ‘Setting the Records Straight’, said the organisation had a procession to round up its 46th Annual General Meeting as its customary in all events in like manner for the past 46 years, adding that no aspect of its procession was political. 


“Part of the annual general meeting was the review of our entire advocacy, humanitarian and operational activities for the year. This, then, as usual, culminated in a celebratory procession, an aspect of this yearly process that we have undertaken for the last 46 years. In our view, it proceeded without event, until this extremely limited video made this appearance. 


“Quite contrary to the manner in which certain aspects of the video are being portrayed, no aspect of this procession or the event itself was political. Rather it was the typical climax of our annual general meeting. At no time in the history of this organisation has this event; or indeed any of our events had any slanted political leanings,” he said. 


Owoaje who stated that the organisation does not mock or discriminate against the physical condition of any person as it also has members who are physically challenged, added that Pyrates Confraternity is not backing any presidential candidate for the 2023 election. 


The statement read in part: “We must stress that we are apolitical. As an organisation, we have never had a preferred candidate in any political elections including the upcoming 2023 general elections. We have members who belong to different political parties and are absolutely free to support any candidate of their choice. 


“It is most unfortunate that political capital is being made of this with interpretations that are totally at variance with the philosophy of the Pyrates Confraternity. Unequivocally, we condemn this in very strong terms. 


“We understand that political merchants desperately seeking media mileage are all over the place misinforming and twisting events to suit their political agenda. However, we wish to re -emphasise that the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) are not supporting or backing any candidate for the office of the President or any other office in the 2023 general elections and beyond. 


“As an organisation in tune with disadvantaged and voiceless people, we are committed to the enthronement of a just society in which no one is discriminated against based on tribe, religion, gender or disability. We are against conventions that are moribund. We have always stood for Humanistic ideals, comradeship and chivalry. Nothing that has happened can and will change that posture. 


“We are determined to continue to use our social programmes, intellectual platforms and our compelling songs to advocate for good governance and accountability!”