On Monday, May 20, 2019 music stars of music from different states across the country converged in Lagos for the 9th Annual General Meeting of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
At the elections which took place at the AGM, Highlife Star and “Zigima” music exponent, Bright Chimezie was elected for the first time to the COSON Board. Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, whose term in office expired at the AGM, stepped down both as Chairman and as a Director. He was subsequently unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly in an election which had four top notch lawyers as returning officers.
Also elected to the Board on his own merit was renowned music maker and comedy star, Mr. Kofi Idowu Nuel, popularly known as Koffi Da Guru who had until the AGM held the seat on the Board previously held by the late Reggae icon, Ras Kimono who passed on in 2018.
Similarly re-elected to the Board is the musicologist, Hon. John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, a former National President of the powerful Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN).
The 2018 audited accounts and financial report of the society was also reviewed by the members and adopted. The highlight of the AGM which coincided with the second anniversary of the commissioning of the magnificent COSON HOUSE in Ikeja was the Chairman’s address by Chief Tony Okoroji which received huge intermittent applause from the members with standing ovation at the end.
Said Okoroji, “At Lagos Sheraton Hotel today, I can see my brethren in music and music industry personalities from every nook and cranny of Nigeria. I wish to emphasize that it is our different characters, ages, experiences and unique locations that make COSON a truly national institution. The strength of COSON lies with all of you, in every state of the Nigerian nation where you come from as long as music is played there. It truly does not matter whether you play hip hop, highlife, fuji, juju, gospel, reggae, bongo, kalango, ikwokirikwo or whatever. As long you compose music, perform music or invest in music, COSON belongs to you.
“I am sure that many are surprised that with everything that has been thrown at us, COSON is working. COSON is working because we have built an institution with significant resilience and strong roots. COSON is working because there is trust and confidence between the members and the leaders. COSON is working not just because of our 100% dedication to the cause but because of the blessings and grace of the Almighty.
“I have read countless publications in which incredibly defamatory things have been said about me and facts twisted so badly to run me down. I have endured them because of my commitment to our cause and my determination that COSON should not go the way of PMAN.
“Distinguished members of COSON, my dedication to the COSON cause is not because of a title or because of personal wealth. My official car for much of 2018 was one rickety 20-year old Toyota Camry and later on, one 16-year old Honda Pilot. I do not live in a house provided by COSON. No member of my family goes to a hospital provided by COSON. I do not go on a vacation on the bill of COSON. I have spared myself no suffering or inconvenience because of my dedication to the COSON cause because I verily believe that the true worth of a man is not in what he takes but in what he gives”.
Among the many stars present at the AGM were the revered music legend Prof (Sir) Victor Uwaifo, the Afro Juju creator, Sir Shina Peters, Reggae Star, Righteous Man, Gospel Crooner, Kenny Saint Best; Chris Mba of the “Baby Don’t Cry” fame; guitar wizard, Feladay, US based music star, Alabama and Owerri based Highlife Star, Ugo Stevenson. Also present were the current National President of Music Label Owners & Recording Industries Association of Nigeria (MORAN), Mr. Calistus Okeke; National President of Music Producers & Marketers Association of Nigeria (MUPMAN), Engr Sharon Esco Wilson and Chairman of Billtop Group, Dr Ben Ofoeze.