For Bayelsa-born gospel music star Asu Ekiye, his counterpart on the gospel music scene, Sammie Okposo is not fit to lead an association of gospel artistes simply because he does not have the spiritual pedigree.
The award_winning musician, who has three albums, â€œBack to Base 1_3â€ to his credit, says it is scandalous to have been tipped as a deputy to Okposo in the association being put together by some gospel musicians.
In an interactive session with the media recently, Ekiye declares thus: â€œI am aware of a positive move to spearhead the course of bringing all gospel musicians in Nigeria under one umbrella for proper coordination and organization. And to say that I am tipped as deputy to Sammie Okposo is a figment of someoneâ€™s imagination.
Nobody has the right to choose who leads and who deputizes until all gospel musicians in Nigeria agree on that. Moreover, I cannot be led by Sammie Okposo. Yes! He cannot lead me. I cannot be a part of anything led by Sammie Okposo because he does not have the spiritual pedigree to lead me.â€
According to Ekiye, gospel music is not just an art form it is actually a life pattern. â€œAnd in fact, the life pattern validates the music. So if a set of people are orchestrating a certain move to pursue selfish agenda aimed at legitimizing a cycle of obduracy and self aggrandizement, it does not make it credible. It is in fact an insult to ask me to follow Sammie.
At this age, I cannot pander to the whims and caprices of certain malevolent elements feigning genuine intentions but have iniquitous impregnations to position themselves strategically for their selfish advantage and continue to subvert other peopleâ€™ destinies.â€
In spite of everything, Ekiye says Okposo remains his good friend and brother but counsels that the only basis for a recognizable leadership in the gospel music fold is to institute a broad based consultation with the elders and other leading lights of gospel music.
â€œAnd a consensus can then be achieved for the pattern of choosing a truly representative leader of all gospel musicians. Anything contrary to this is a kangaroo arrangement,â€ he states.
As a gospel musician, Ekiyeâ€™s major ambition is to impact the world through more superior value and standard, and through better quality of presentation of materials and products.