Nobel laureate, Prof. Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde Soyinka, known as Wole Soyinka, on Monday, condemned the viral video showing some purported members of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) also called Pyrates Confraternity, for mocking the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu saying the action is distasteful.
Wole Soyinka distanced himself from such action, noting that he was not involved in such public performance.
Members of the Pyratess was seen dressed in a red and white attire danced and chanted, “Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, baba wey no well he dey shout Emi Lokan,” in pidgin English, meaning “With an unstable hand and leg, a man with a frail health is sounding off that it’s his turn to be Nigeria’s president.’’
Reacting to this in a statement titled, ‘Interim statement on a dubious political outing,’ the Nobel laureate said, “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, the Pyrates Confraternity is entitled to its freedom of expression, individually or collectively like any other individual or group.
“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 said.
Noting that he would issue a further statement on the development after he had made inquiries into the “strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association.”