Artists Set to Campaign Against Politicians who Lack Plans for Creative Industry

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Mary Nnah

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has warned that as the general elections approach, it will mobilise its thousands of members across Nigeria and the millions of music fans who support COSON members to campaign against politicians who have no well thought out plans for the creative talents in Nigeria.

COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, made this disclosure while speaking to musicians, investors in the music industry, intellectual property lawyers and the media at COSON House, Ikeja, Lagos, on the topic, ‘State of the Music Industry’ during the ‘No Music Day’ event.

He said: “It is our firm belief that creative people in Nigeria cannot afford to keep quiet any longer as Nigeria goes through another electioneering campaign season in which politicians hop from one end of the country to the other but no one offers any direction for the development and optimal deployment of the millions of Nigeria’s creative talents for national development.

“Today, we wish to tell Nigerian politicians that we will not be taken for granted anymore and we will not help people canvass for votes who after getting into office will abandon the creative industry to suffer in an environment that completely discourages creativity.

“We are making it abundantly clear that it is only politicians who have developed a well thought out long-term plan for the progress of our industry and have shown clear interest in the development of the nation’s creative environment that can count on our significant support, the mobilisation of our fans and their votes as elections approach.

“In the same manner, we will mobilise massively against those who have no plans to properly deploy the creative energy of young Nigerian people”

In his ‘No Music Day’ address, Okoroji who spearheaded the 2009 hunger strike action said, “We wish to remind the different politicians and political parties canvasing for votes across the country that the disease which necessitated the hunger strike of 2009 has not quite been cured.

“At this time that other nations are building their economic growth on the creative and knowledge economy, Nigeria must take important steps to protect its creative industries to ensure the socio-economic progress of our nation.”
Okoroji who derided the politics of personalities that has enveloped the nation, called for politics of issues that attack the serious deprivations faced by the Nigerian people.

The former President of PMAN added, “we believe that the time has come for our music industry to go beyond simply providing entertainment but playing a key role in nation building.

“We cannot afford to give up as a nation despite the immense disappointments we have had. We must reinvent the Nigerian nation and speak truth to power. We believe that in this process, creative people in Nigeria must play a central role, stand up, take responsibility, work together, and establish the strong advocacy necessary in every democracy to create positive change.”