[Former] Senator Dino Melaye – SDM – (Twitter handle: @dino_melaye) on the 4th of August 2020 tweeted a cynically edited video clip of members of the Pyrates Confraternity singing his name in elated spirits. The comment that accompanied the clip SDM presented was, “SDM loved everywhere… even Pirates [Pyrates].” Call it narcissism, the tweet appeared to be a subtly devised public relation’s [PR] coup by SDM and perhaps it has worked well. Several Pyrates reacted on social media platforms professing that SDM was a fool to think the Pyrates were praising him because they, in reality, were mocking/condemning him for his bizarre resistance of arrest antics widely televised in 2018. The High Command of the Pyrates Confraternity in the person of the NAS Capoon stepped out to make a press release showing that not only were they not praising Dino Melaye, but they had also for ages used songs creatively to address the ills of the politics and politicians in Nigeria. These reactions looked like the were they responses SDM had hoped for from the Confraternity. He might even suffer Pyrate-envy since he is not a Pyrate.
The leading University Campus Grown Fraternities (UCGF) have had a long run of durability in their existence. Like many glorified dictatorships, autocracies and predatory cults, their enduring survival is a function of the longevity of the founder or historical leader. There is no retirement- some are late and some are present.
The “cult of personality” of the historical leader prevents the development of consistent and well-enforced institutions, laws or rules within the UCGF. His changing moods, whims and preferences rule the UCGF as he pleases. The challenges to his inconsistencies are few and attract punitive sanctions. The outcome is that the UCGF is always in a state of permanent uncertainty; every member has to wait for the latest deceptions, half-truths, excuses, threats, punishments, exclusions or instructions of the leader to know what will happen next. Keeping members guessing is one of the most ancient tricks of cult leaders. The problem resulting is that the cult leader never lives forever. He will eventually become too ill or senile to lead, or he will pass away someday. That is when the succession battles and disintegration begin; he never thought any successor a good enough replacement. The scramble for power on his departure can be desperate and violent – many will eat and drink poison.
Yesterday, as I was making octopus pepper soup, I decided to have a sip of seaweed kinkana, a mild alcoholic spirit. Paramole had given me the recipe to make the still when he returned from the Great Gangway. The Davy Jones Locker rendezvous was quiet, cold and sterile as usual but also inspirational and unencumbering. I must emphasise I love the place; it is my kind of place; it is my home now. I only use my submarine to come onshore these days, which is not often.
My unfailing experience was, an hour before a Forgone Terrors arrives at the Davy Jones Locker rendezvous, the Entrance would turn deep indigo or even purple. It is a signal for me to get ready to Mascot a Forgone Terror to the Great Gangway in any manner I choose. Now, for the first time in my experience, the Entrance turned blood red. It was a signal that an unauthorised person was arriving. I had never seen this happen and wondered who would appear at the Entrance. Was it the Devil himself, Sir Francis Drake, Vasco Da Gama, Black Beard, William Kidd, Calico Jack or the god, Poseidon? I knew it had to be a man by the laws of natures. The pepper soup was ready and scenting fine, and what a meal! No more sips.
No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the First Time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been – Hannah Arendt
When punishment becomes too common or an overused resort, it indicates a poorly governed organisation or institution that can do no better than wield a stick to cover up the open corruption of its leadership and its day to day affairs. The more the rotten the organisation, the more the punishment meted out to its members. Punishment thus becomes the best way the organisation or institution secures impunity from its very own corruption and decadence. Some organisation uses Black spots as its primary method of discipline and punishment within while simultaneously claiming to be “defenders of human rights” without.
There is a keen fascination among young men, particularly at leading schools and universities around the world with the “captain-pirate” mode of rebellion or disobedience against the injustices and excesses of the status quo in society. It is not surprising. The literal meaning of a pirate and the piratical life is one of thieves and the means of thieving, respectively. Its significance in the context of fraternal orders of young men is consanguineous with the metaphor of Robin Hood – stealing from the rich or powerful to give to the poor or weak. The young or seasoned pirate, as he solemnly swears at his initiation, under the direction of his captain is thus necessarily an agent of social justice in society.
Namadi Sambo is yet another victim of Wole Soyinka’s and the Pyrates Confraternity’s mischief. As an ambitious and bright student, in 1974 Sambo as an architecture undergraduate at Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria) chose to join the Pyrates Confraternity. Namadi Sambo later became Governor of Kaduna State and subsequently the 13th Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must understand that Islamic Northern Nigerians, particularly of the Hausa-Fulani stock rarely ever join University Campus Grown Fraternities (UCGF) since their ethos goes against the everyday sensibilities of Islam. Sambo’s (and others) interest as a Hausa-Fulani to join the Pyrates Confraternity seemed like a breakthrough in expanding the network of membership among Northerners. Nigeria is lucky today to have him alive considering the consequences of his initiation into the Pyrates Confraternity.
Usani Uguru Usani is another example of the protean victim Wole Soyinka, and the Pyrates Confraternity create. Again, in the late 1990s, Usani was made a commissioner in the cabinet of three governors from 1995 to 1999 holding various portfolios in Cross Rivers State. He was then seen as a future governor the state and today he is currently Minister of State for Niger Delta in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, if the Pyrates Confraternity had their way, his political career would have ended a long time ago.
Ben Oguntuase is a prime example of being a systematic victim of the mischief of Wole Soyinka and the Pyrates Confraternity. A very bright and energetic graduate of petroleum engineering from the Universities of Ibadan (Nigeria) and Louisiana (USA), Big Ben as he was often called, quickly rose through the ranks of National Oil plc (an oil marketing concern). And was a star in the corporate class of Nigeria. By the late 1990s, he had become the Capoon of the Pyrates Confraternity (a.k.a. National Association of Seadogs International). One thing he tried to achieve as the Pyrates Capoon was to eliminate the heinous and proliferating incidences of University Campus Grown Fraternities’ (UCGF) violence causing death, mayhem and ruin to the lives of so many young higher education students across the country. It was a great national concern of the day which persists. As noble as this quest of Ben Oguntuase was, it cost him his brilliant career at the singular order of Wole Soyinka.
Wole Soyinka and his “goons”, as the man affectionately calls them, are the “Bad Brothers” and the Pyrates Confraternity is the “Bad Brotherhood”. It is only the long staggering history of theft, manipulation, racketeering, corruption, abuse, brutality, slavery and many inhumane practices that unambiguously establish the justification and evidence of the descriptor “Bad”.
The physical and psychological victims of this very “Badness” run into the thousands but have no voice and fear a vicious myriad of accusations, smears and violence if they speak out. There are the survivors too. But most of them have cut their losses with the Confraternity even in their daily thoughts. Hundreds of men blindly every year join the association, not knowing the realities within. Such men with high expectations of personal advancement but end up with one invariable outcome (cf. the road to Europe via Libya). Many within the Confraternity are still suffering as victims. And these members held captive, only cope through mutual [imposed] mechanisms of sheer learned helplessness and stupefaction; alcohol and song provide much solace. The adopted but subtle indoctrination associated with aggressively absorbent cults around the world is well-documented. These are in evidence in every prescribed action and thought of the Confraternity.
Fire!!! Fire!! I have to repeat it, Fire!!! When two or more Otukas gather, a fire is nearby ready to consume habitually bad men mercilessly. No ashes remain, and the Fire is too hot to scream in. Kegs of rum and seas of brine cannot quench it. The Fire though is always a potentiality, and it is only the purity of the human spirit. The Otuka encases that which turns him away from such an eschatology of the wicked. Inevitably, sometimes it has to be done. Plenty of indications, no announcement required.
May one resort to God’s word in this endeavour? For those who read the Bible or never will, I want to interest them in the “Book of Kings” 1: v 9-10;