Age does not seem able to temper down Tony Okoroji's craftiness. For someone who likes to associate himself with Nigerian musicians, talk-less him pushing to be our messiah, he sure has awkward ways of going about it.
I first met Tony Okoroji in the early days when EMI was at Oregun Road, Ikeja. He was part of the A&R team there and Odion Iroje was the rave producer of the moment, having been lucky to have run into Chris Okotie!
Tony Okoroji, always the user, seized the insider advantage to make Juliana and flogged it to the limit with all the muscles that EMI had as a big and foreign record company. Tony Okoroji never did anything worthy of note musically after that. But, he is a born politician and knows how to take advantage of positioning. Oh, regarding EMI hiring him as A&R man he was able to approve one Dizzy K Falola of all the lot of talents that came his way.
After many years of being musically inactive, Tony Okoroji warmed his way into the PMAN leadership, he and his train of users he calls partners. And it marked the worst years of the ever-fledgling musicians' body.
Tony Okoroji after being deposed left and disappeared for awhile from music circles. I hear he sold spare-parts. But, business didn't seem to pay as well as manipulating issues concerning musicians, so he returned.
Then he came back with TOPS = (Tony Okoroji and Partners) and organized the then award for musicians. And you can be sure that a lot of money and goodwill rolled in supposedly for musicians on account of that. But guess who cornered it all?
The next, we started hearing of a musicians' rights organisation springing from the foundations of the big record companies. They called it PMRS, and Tony Okoroji was used to front for them. How on earth would record companies ever be trusted to protect the rights of musicians in anywhere, let alone Nigeria?
PMRS fought tooth and nail to destabilize MCSN which was founded by the fathers like late I K Dairo and living legend KSA, to mention but a few.
Ironically, people in authority seem to always fall for the manipulations of Tony Okoroji to the exclusion of the generality of the true army of musicians that abound in this country. One then asks what could possibly be in it for government officials in NCC to want to nullify our known and internationally-affiliated MCSN so to impose their own contraption of musical rights body on musicians? Do we have government subventions like for NFA or NFF that they would like to corner for themselves? They now believe there is money to be got from administering the rights of the created works of musicians, yet they treat and look down on musicians like we are riff-rafs!
PMRS eventually collapsed. But Tony Okoroji did not let go. Now we are hearing of COSON and seeing advertorials by it on TV stations like LTV8. And the agenda continues to run aground the true and genuine MCSN, so that usurpers can sit on the only aspect of music in Nigeria that musicians are not yet aware can make all their heartaches from making music worthwhile in years to come, when they do not think there is anything left for them anymore!
Tony Okoroji, our one-album, one-hit-song colleague at PMAN, should please stop this vendetta against whomever at MCSN because he is using the lawlessness of our land to abuse our collective rights as musicians and spoiling something that has positive prospects for Nigerian musicians now and for tomorrow.
Tony Okoroji should search himself had, if left to administer our rights, would he not abandon us and run away again when his hands are full? Please, let the professionals trained and committed to this service do the job. If you have reservations about their integrity, institute action to audit them.
Lets begin to get one thing right, at least, for music in Nigeria.
Those of our colleagues who seem to be exploiting and enjoying the present limelight, this matter concerns you all too. Don't keep aloof to the body that makes you count! Generation goes, generation comes. Be involved. Join PMAN today. Join MCSN for your rights. There are many ways your songs make you money that you are not claiming because you don't know.
We all know that those of us who dare to go into music are looked upon as loafers and less quality members of regular society. But we know better. Musicians are rhythmic people. We live by the beat. We keep time. We can't do wrong even if we tried! We'd be out of sync if we did.
SO, LETS ALL STAND UP FOR PMAN and MCSN today and take our due pay for our creations in this land and ALL over the world.
Thanks for agreeing with me, or at least, giving it a thought my musical colleagues to the left and to the right!!