By Benjamin Njoku
Veteran highlife musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo has expressed deep concern following the interference of Nigerian Copyright Commission,NCC, in the internal affairs of the Copyright Society of Nigeria,COSON.
In a letter he addressed to the Director-General of NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude with the title “ Undue interference in the Internal Affairs of Copyright Society of Nigeria,COSON, by your Commission” and dated February 26, 2018, the veteran musician frowned at the recent move by the regulatory body to void the return of Tony Okoroji as chairman of COSON.
NCC, in a letter dated February 19, 2018 with reference number NCC/DG/I/66 and signed by the commission’s Director General, Afam Ezekude, voided the return of Tony Okoroji as chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria. The regulatory body added that it would act within its oversight function to examine the books of COSON and advise as appropriate.
However, in his letter, Sir Victor Uwaifo condemned the commission’s attempt to give instructions to COSON, as if it’s a department under your Commission.
“ I read with utmost disgust your letter to COSON widely published on the internet in which you attempted to give instructions to COSON, an independent private sector organization, as if COSON is a department under your Commission,” read the letter.
It continued, “ For the avoidance of doubt, I presided over the meeting of the members of COSON held in Lagos on December 19, 2017, at which meeting; COSON members, all over Nigeria freely and unanimously in one voice, restored Chief Tony Okoroji as Chairman of our society. It was clear to me that every well-meaning member of COSON who attended the meeting was angered by the decision of the purported removal of Chief Okoroji by six members of the society on December 7, 2017. The removal of Okoroji was an attempt to hijack COSON at a critical period in its history and destroy our fledgling organization, the same way PMAN was destroyed.”
“Absolutely, the interest of these six individuals cannot override that of the thousands of COSON members , affiliated and foreign reciprocal partners who are overwhelming impressed and satisfied with the incredible personal sacrifice and leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji…”
Okoroji, a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria,PMAN, was returned as COSON chairman at an extraordinary general meeting held on December 19, 2017, days after he was asked to step aside by the organization’s board.
His return was endorsed by music veterans like Sir Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters and Ras Kimono.