By Chinelo Obogo
National Association of Seadogs, also known as Pyrates Confraternity, has reacted to the video showing its members singing and dancing to a song believe to be a mockery of the health status of Ahmed Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The one-minute video, surfaced over the weekend, showing members of the association dressed in red and white attire dancing and singing, “Emi Lokan, Emi Lokan, baba wey no well, he dey shout Emi Lokan. Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, baba wey no well he dey shout Emi Lokan,” which simply translates to “A man with a frail health is saying that it’s his turn to be Nigeria’s president.’’
The song derives its lyrics from the meeting with party delegates in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on June 3, 2022, where Tinubu expressed frustration over the lack of support for his ambition to win the party’s presidential ticket, using the phrase, “Emi Lokan”, which means “It is my turn”.
The video was received with mixed reactions; some condemned it saying the health of a person should not be mocked, others defended it, saying no name was mentioned in the song.
However, spokesperson of the association, Abiola Owoaje, yesterday, said the song was not intended to mock any politician, insisting that no aspect of the procession or the event itself was political.
“In the last 48 hours, our attention has been drawn to a viral video of a song that has raised concerns and commentary across Nigeria. For the avoidance of doubt, between August 4 and August 6 2022, the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) was in Ikeja, Lagos, for our 46th Annual General Meeting. This event was attended by over 2,000 of our members who came to Lagos from all over the world.
“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.
“Let it be known that the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) does not mock or discriminate against the physical condition of any person. Never! It is an unfair characterisation and offends everything that we stand for. Indeed, this would cause offence to even our own members that are also, unfortunately, afflicted that this would never be condoned.
“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
“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 reemphasise that the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) is not supporting or backing any candidate for the office of the President or any other office in the 2023 general elections and beyond.”