Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka on Monday condemned a viral video on social media showing members of the Pyrates Confraternity mocking the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu during a procession.
Soyinka in a statement said he was appalled at the lyrics of the song.
In the video, the Pyrates’ members sang about a presidential candidate whose “hands and feet are shaking, yet he is saying ‘it is my turn’.
Soyinka, a founding member of the Pyrates Confraternity, said he is not “associated with the sentiments expressed in the songs.”
“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,” Soyinka said.
The Nobel Laureate said the Pyrates Confraternity is entitled to its freedom of expression, individually or collectively like any other individual or group.
Soyinka noted that while he has his opinion, he does not “interfere in, nor do I attempt dictate the partisan political choices of the Confraternity.”
“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,” Soyinka said.
“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.”
Soyinka said he would issue a further statement on the development after he had made inquiries into the “strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association.”