READ FULL TEXT OF VICTOR UWAIFO'S MISSILE TO NCC DG, EZEKUDE
'I read with utmost disgust your recent 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.
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 fledging organization, the same way PMAN was destroyed.
Absolutely, the interest of these six individuals cannot override that of the thousands of COSON members, affiliates and foreign reciprocal partners who are overwhelmingly impressed and satisfied with the incredible personal sacrifice and leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji who has built COSON and made it a model and a source of pride to the creative community in Nigeria.
Just for the records, I am PROF. SIR VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON. I am 76 years old. I am a musician, well known all over the world, a composer with a rich repertoire of musical works and sound recordings, an intellectual, a professor of Fine and Applied Arts, a key founding member of COSON and a subscriber to the COSON Memorandum & Articles of Association. I have served on the Board of COSON, been involved with the progress made by COSON in the last 7years under the inspirational leadership and energy of an uncommon Nigerian and with your invisible presence as Director-General of the NCC. I have also held several distinguished political appointments.
If I wanted to be sectional or parochial, I would have thrown my weight behind Mr. Efe Omorogbe who is from my State and with whom I have an ongoing close professional relationship. At my age, if I had done that, I would have done a disservice to generations of Nigerian musicians and investors in the music industry and my conscience would not be at rest.
Despite my close relationship with Efe Omorogbe, he is not the choice of COSON members at this time and no one in Abuja or elsewhere can change that.
I have read the letter written to you by the Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami ordering you to approve another CMO in the same class of works administered by COSON so as to create commotion within our industry and wipe out the most successful organization in the history of the Nigerian Creative Industry.
Anybody reading the letter from the AGF can immediately see that you know that the order given to you is both unlawful and ultra vires. You however did not have the courage to refuse to carry out this unlawful order. The commotion caused by your action has set in what appears to be a conspiracy to get rid of Chief Tony Okoroji, the one man you all know has the knowledge, experience, personal conviction and courage to resist the seeming plan to shake down users of music content across Nigeria in billions of Naira and set our industry back.
Your letter dated February 19, 2018 addressed to the General Manager of COSON, REF: NCC/DG/132/1/66 which went virile on the social media even before it got to the recipient is a clear testimony of bad faith on your part in the handling of the affairs of COSON. Since your letter to COSON was widely published to inflict the greatest injury, I have no choice but to ensure that this letter is also widely published in the internet to set the records straight.
As a Commission, one would have expected that you will be more concerned over the other moribund Collecting Societies that were approved several years ago by the commission with nothing to show and the biting piracy militating against the creative industry rather than meddling and destabilizing COSON which is being run professionally and which has the requisite capacity to deal with its internal issues.
I do not know how much you are aware of the history of the Nigerian Copyright Commission which you now head and from which you are issuing orders as if you are God Almighty. It was the same Chief Tony Okoroji that galvanized the entire nation with unsurpassed advocacy and massive demonstrations in Nigeria that forced the government to promulgate the copyright law. The young man risked his life for this. He could have been killed by the military government at that time. He participated in drafting the Copyright law with the help of others like Prof. Egerton Ovieghara who became the first Chairman of the NCC. Chief Okoroji’s successful agitation culminated in the setting up of the NCC.
It follows that everyone employed by the NCC including yourself and the many thousands who today benefit from the copyright system in our nation owe this unique Nigerian a debt of gratitude. Sadly, there appears to be concerted effort to destroy his good name and character to achieve a perfidious objective.
It is important to reemphasize that you stay away and refuse to be used anymore as a tool in any action that can lead to the instability and possible disintegration of COSON, Nigeria’s most successful organization in the creative industry ever. Please avoid any friction between the members of COSON and the leadership of your Commission which will serve no good.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Chairman of COSON freely chosen by the members of COSON is Chief Tony Okoroji. We have tried him and found him worthy of our trust.
A word is enough for the wise!
PROF. (SIR) VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON '
CC: President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR
President of Nigeria
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)
Vice President of Nigeria
Senator Bukola Saraki
President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Hon. Justice Walter S.N. Onnoghen
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara
Speaker, House of Representatives
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Hon. Minister of Information & Culture
Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama
Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs
Your Excellencies, the above is for your information and necessary actions, please.
PROF. (SIR) VICTOR UWAIFO JP, MON