Members of the National Association of Seadog (NAS), otherwise known as Pyrate Confraternity, Saratoga X, Festac Chapter, on Saturday, October 3, paid a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Police, Festac Division, in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The group, led by its president, Afam Chukwuma, donated 20 pieces of reflective jackets to the traffic section of the Police Division as part of its corporate social responsibility
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Abiola Haruna, welcomed the group and demanded to know their mission, vision and what they wanted the police to do for them.
In his response, Chukwuma told the DPO and his men that NAS is a nongovernmental organisation that is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and operates globally. He said the organisation’s core mandates include fighting against social ills and standing for justice and fairness among others.
“We are wired to fight societal ills. Our motto is against moribund convention, ethnicity and tribalism. We promote humanistic ideals, comradeship and chivalry. That’s who we are and that is what we represent. Anywhere we see societal ills, injustice, people being maltreated, we speak up for them. We have arms for prisons, citizens’ summit, NAS medicals mission, where we carry out humanitarian and social services. So, we are all encompassing in our approach and relationship,” he stated.
He said they were at the police division to let the DPO and his men know about NAS existence in Festac and their preparedness to partner with the police to bring about justice and peace within Festac and its environs.
“Our Festac chapter was just created two months ago and we felt it is necessary to identify and introduce ourselves to the Nigeria Police, Festac Division, which is our area of operation. We also feel it is necessary to come and share our vision and mission and see how we can support you and how you can also support us,” he said.
He traced the origin of the association to 1952 at the University College, Ibadan, when seven young men came together to fight class distinction, ethnicity and tribalism, which were very well pronounced at that time.
“To eliminate tribalism, they started by giving themselves specific names that were known to them apart from tribal names. That was purposely done to prevent ethnic bias and we have upheld that tradition till today,” he added.
On the impression that NAS is a cult group, he dismissed the perception, saying that the body pulled out of the university or any institution for that matter since 1984, and that those parading themselves as NAS members in schools are impostors, who should be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. “Today, we are no longer in the university. In 1980, we got registered with the CAC and ministry of homeland affairs. If you find anybody in any institution claiming to be a NAS member, arrest the person because he is an impostor. We do not have a presence in any institution at all. As a matter of fact, the least requirement to be a member is the NYSC discharge or exemption certificate,” he clarified.
While donating 20 reflective jackets to the traffic section, Chukwuma appealed to the DPO to accept them for who they are. He also appealed to the Divisional Traffic Officer (DTO), to do something about the unending traffic gridlock at Apple Junction.
“We have six branches in Lagos including Ikorodu, Ikeja, Egbeda, Victoria Island, Surulere, and Festac. Accept us for who we are. We are here to support you. We are here to inform you that we are not involved in any clandestine activity; we are genuine, responsible citizens cutting across all fields of human endeavours. We want to support the traffic division with some reflective jackets. We plead with the DTO to do something about the unending traffic gridlock at Apple Junction. If there is anything we can do to support you let us,” he submitted.
Also, the National Vice President for Lagos Operations, Bashorun Olanrewaju, equally promised that part of what the association does would benefit the police. He said: “We have done medical missions in some police formations in Lagos, like prostate cancer investigation, free eye test and glasses for the officers and others. Now that we are here, we want to ask for your support and find out what we can do to support you as a division so that we can have a symbiotic relationship going forward. And if at any time, you think there is anything you wish to know about us, you can always call on us.”
In his response, the DPO welcomed and appreciated the group for visiting the Division. He promised to work with them only if they operate within the ambit of the law. “I am an officer that is guided by the law. And I want to suggest that all your activities will be within the ambit of the law. Don’t take laws into your hands. When you see anything going wrong, call us. When you see anything going wrong with my men, call me; don’t challenge my men on the road. Any time you call me, I will take action,” he assured them.
On the perennial traffic at the Apple Junction, Haruna told them that it is beyond the police capacity. “It is only the government that can tackle it, maybe, by constructing a flyover. Bad roads, rains and a lot of other human factors contribute to traffic gridlock in Lagos. Any time you see anything wrong, call me and I will answer. May God guide, protect and enrich your purse as you carry on with the humanitarian work,” he said.