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‘You Are Too Respected To Display Such Double Standards’

Reno Omokri and Soyinka

Former Presidential aide, Reno Omokri has tackled Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka over his comment on the Pyrates Confraternity Video mocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Naija News earlier reported that members of the Confraternity were seen gyrating to a song that mocked the former Governor of Lagos State for a speech he made in June in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Tinubu had during the controversial speech stated that ‘Emi lo kan’, meaning ‘It’s my turn’ to get power after President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the viral video, 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’).”

Soyinka’s Response

Reacting to the video, Soyinka, who was among the ‘magnificent seven’ that founded Pyrates Confraternity at the University College Ibadan, slammed the Pyrates for mocking Tinubu’s ill-health.

Soyinka had said: “Let me make the following cultural affirmation. 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 designate 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.

“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. 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.”

Why Didn’t You Condemn Tinubu’s Attack On Peter Obi?

In a post shared on Twitter, Reno slammed  Soyinka, saying he is too respected to display double standard.

He questioned why Soyinka failed to also respond when Tinubu sponsored an attack on the former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, and the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

“Where was Professor Wole Soyinka when Tinubu insulted Obidients by calling Labour a “mushroom” party, whose members “will labour till death”? Is that Pyrates song Soyinka called ‘distasteful’ as bad as wishing death on Labour Party members?

“Why didn’t Soyinka condemn Tinubu? When Tinubu sponsored Occupy Naija, where then President Jonathan’s photo was placed on a coffin and labelled RIP, why did Soyinka not call it distasteful, as he did with the Pyrates anti-Tinubu song? Wole Soyinka is too respected to display such double standards,” Omokri said.

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