- Group fails to apologise for chants in viral video
The National Association of Seadogs (NAS), also called Pyrates Confraternity, has restated its stand on the viral video which showed its members singing and dancing in a procession and seemingly mocking a presidential candidate.
The action depicted in the video, NAS said, was not intended to mock anyone as the association is apolitical.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Ikeja, NAS Cap’N, Abiola Owoaje said members of the association came from different places to attend the organisation’s 46th annual general meeting (AGM).
The NAS leader stressed that “no aspect of the meeting or the procession was political”.
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who is said to be the Founder of the organisation, had dissociated himself from the video and actions therein. Watch video here
Owoaje did not apologise to the politician the chants in the video was said to be targeted at.He said: “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 AGM was the review of all our 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…
“Let it be known that the NAS 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 election, including the upcoming 2023 general election. 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) is not supporting or backing any candidate for the office of the President or any other office in the 2023 general election 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.”[carousel_slide id='8496']