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Pyrates Confraternity song: Tinubu unhappy with Soyinka for revealing he has Parkinson’s disease

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Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate

ABUJA – The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election, Bola Tinubu, and members of his campaign team are not happy with the statement made by Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, condemning a viral video showing members of the Pyrates Confraternity mocking the former Governor of Lagos State.

In the video, members of the Confraternity, during a procession gyrated to an anti-Tinubu song and poked fun at Tinubu for a speech he made in June in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he asked that power should be handed over to him.

The members of the Pyrates Confraternity sang, “Hand dey shake, leg dey shake, Baba wey no well, e de shout emi lo kan (Hands are shaking, legs are shaking. A sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’).

“Emi lo kan (2ce), Baba wey no well, him dey shout emi lokan (It’s my turn (2ce), a sick old man is shouting ‘it’s my turn’”.

Tinubu, who seemed desperate during the speech had said, ‘Emi lo kan’, meaning ‘It’s my turn’.

He narrated how he consoled President Muhammadu Buhari after he had failed three times to become Nigeria’s President. Eventually, a political alliance spearheaded by Tinubu ensured Buhari won the Presidential election in 2015.

However, Soyinka who founded Pyrates Confraternity as a university student in Ibadan, Nigeria, described making a mockery of Tinubu due to his ill-health as distasteful.

“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 designates 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 in a statement.

“One of my favorite authors, about whom, by a coincidence, I had cause to write quite recently, was CLR James, author of The Black Jacobins, Beyond A Boundary etc. etc. I called him my ideological uncle. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, but remained alert, lucid and combative for decades after the onset of the disease. We interacted politically at the Tanzanian pan-African Congress, the Dakar Festival of Negro Arts and a number of other cultural and political fora.

“We met frequently in his lifetime, dined together in restaurants, despite his challenge. it would be unthinkable, and a desecration of his memory to be part of any activity that mocked his affliction. A further statement will be issued when I have made further enquiries into this strange, uncharacteristic outing of the association.”

A close source to Tinubu lol told SaharaReporters that the APC candidate and members of his team are upset that Soyinka “systematically revealed that Tinubu got Parkinson’s disease, thereby confirming that he’s an invalid candidate.”

“They are angry that Prof. (Professor Soyinka) revealed too much about Bola Tinubu’s health condition,” he added.

In 2021 alone, Tinubu spent over 80 days patronising hospitals in France, the United States and the United Kingdom where he underwent surgeries leaving behind the poorly equipped hospitals in Nigeria led by the APC government.

He was flown out of the country some days before Christmas in 2020 to Paris, France.

There were speculations that he tested positive for COVID-19 but his media aide later denied such reports.

The APC leader returned to Nigeria on January 24, 2021, after a month’s absence from Nigeria.

He then went for a medical check-up on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to France and was conspicuously absent from the one-day working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos State.

“Tinubu is in Paris, France for a medical checkup. His health is deteriorating due to old age,” a top source had told SaharaReporters.

Tinubu, amid death rumours, was forced to return to the country on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

SaharaReporters also reported that Tinubu was hospitalised in Maryland, the United States in July 2021 where he had knee surgery.

“Tinubu is hospitalised in Maryland, US. His health is failing. He couldn’t participate in launching his Arewa library, and he couldn’t participate in the Local Government Area elections last week. He could not attend today’s APC congress due to health reasons.

“He had a surgery last week,” an authoritative source had disclosed at the time.

On August 9, 2021, Tinubu had another knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, the United States.

The APC chieftain, it was learnt, left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery.

Sources close to Tinubu had told SaharaReporters that he wanted the surgery in Paris, France but changed his plan over rumours of his death.

“Tinubu had his second surgery at John Hopkins University in Maryland recently. He was accompanied by a popular Nigerian doctor in Chicago. He had wanted the surgery in Paris but when rumour was rife about his death, he hurriedly left for Nigeria and went to John Hopkins,” one of the sources had said.

“He left the US for the UK on crutches,” another source had revealed.

In 2021, the President paid a visit to Tinubu in London and the latter was seen with a walking stick during Buhari’s visit, confirming SaharaReporters’ story that he underwent a second surgery in the United States.

Tinubu currently toes the path of President Buhari, who himself has spent hundreds of days on medical leave in the United Kingdom since he assumed office in 2015.

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