Key leaders of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition have joined the 18 Guilds of the Nigerian Motion Picture Industry to call for the disbandment and reconstitution of the COVID 19 Committee recently announced by the Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed. An investigation by dailynewscover.com… reveals a burning anger across the music industry that there was zero consultation of the institutions of the music industry before one Efe Omorogbe was announced as representing the industry in the committee.
Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, a foremost music industry activist and immediate past National President of Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Nigeria’s biggest association of owners of copyright in sound recordings and a key convener of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition, described the announcement of the appointment of Mr. Efe Omorogbe to the committee as “an insult, an outrage and an attempt to provoke a large section of the music industry in Nigeria”.
Asked Hon Udegbunam, “How can Efe Omorogbe who is presently standing criminal trial for the forgery of documents belonging to the Nigerian music industry be representing the same industry?… Please tell me, how can the same Omorogbe who has been ordered by the Federal High Court to stop parading himself as Chairman of COSON, a key organization of the music industry, be said to be representing our industry? … Does it make sense that Efe Omorogbe who conspired with others to unlawfully freeze the accounts of COSON in different banks from which more money would have been released by COSON at this trying period to cushion the effects of the coronavirus lockdown on musicians in Nigeria, is now appointed to make decisions on behalf of the same musicians he has so dastardly punished? This is the same man who collected a whopping =N=9 million interest free loan from COSON for himself within the time he was given a chance to serve the music industry. Efe Omorogbe has roundly and publicly been rejected by the musicians of Nigeria. It is very provocative to announce him as representing our industry.”
Another key convener of the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition, Eng. Sharon Esco Wilson, National President of Music Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN) said, “I have considered Minister Lai Muhammed to be a friend of the Nigerian creative industry. I have been to his Abuja office before and was well received by him. He is in fact a patron of our association. I was shocked when I heard the announcement. I began to wonder who advised him to make such a very offensive decision? Who gave him this very bad advice? What could have led him to so badly decide to shave our head in our absence? Is somebody trying to use the committee to rehabilitate Efe Omorogbe? It will not work. I can tell you without equivocation that in my association, Omorogbe is not considered a partner for good in the music industry but a very dangerous adversary of our industry. How can he represent us? Is this a joke or a comedy skit? Maybe, that is why they made Alibaba chairman of the committee!”
Ace drummer, Richard Ayodele Cole, respected across the music industry, said that the constitution of the committee is a slap on the music industry. Said Mr. Cole, “it is totally unacceptable. It is consistent with the age long treatment by government officials of people in the creative industry as beggars who will take anything given to them. They ought to have learnt that our industry is made up very brilliant people and those who deal with us must respect our structures. After all, this is supposed to be a democracy.
“About two years ago, the Minister of information & Culture was hosted at COSON House in Lagos. He must have seen the magnificent structure that is COSON House built by the musicians of Nigeria and the top-class professional manner in which COSON is run. Let it not be forgotten that recently, COSON became the first Nigerian organization to distribute millions of Naira to thousands of musicians across Nigeria as coronavirus palliatives in a most structured and transparent manner that has openly been commended by many. The money distributed was not government money and the people who coordinated the distribution are not government officials. The Nigerian creative industry has capacity and the continued insult of the industry needs to end. Efe Omorogbe does not and cannot represent the Nigerian creative industry. The committee has to be disbanded and reconstituted with true representatives of the Nigerian creative industry or some of us will conclude that this committee was intended to be a case of Alibaba and many thieves”.