The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has expressed full support for the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji in his present fight to protect the independence of COSON and ensure that the society continues to play a major role in the promotion of creativity in Nigeria.
The NANS executives made the pledge during the presentation of the National Outstanding Leadership Award to Chief Okoroji at the magnificent COSON House, Ikeja on Thursday, March 10, 2018.
They described him as an Icon of Societal Transformation.
Speaking during the presentation, the NANS National Vice President, Comrade Olamide Odumosu said that the unanimous choice of Chief Okoroji for the award was made at the Minna congress of NANS. In the words of Odumosu, ‘‘We are aware of your personal sacrifice, unprecedented advocacy and elaborate demonstrations that brought about the promulgation of the copyright law in Nigeria. As a young Nigerian, you risked your life believing that the creative industry is worth dying for. This of course shot you into high position of visibility that climaxed in your participation in the drafting of the Copyright law and the setting up of the NCC in Nigeria.’’
‘‘The concerted efforts to destroy your good name and character in order to achieve a perfidious objective by some undesirable elements within and outside the creative industry must be resisted and put to shame.’’
Still speaking, Odumosu said ‘‘The National Association of Nigerian Students hereby calls on the Copyright Commission to refuse to be used anymore as a tool that can lead to the instability and possible disintegration of COSON. Any avoidable friction between the members of COSON and the leadership of the Copyright Commission occasioned by such undue interference by the Commission shall be taken personal by NANS.’’
‘‘Let it be known today that by this award, Chief Tony Okoroji has become a 5-star General of NANS and whoever takes him on takes on the 40.1 million students NANS represents both at home and abroad.’’ He concluded.
Receiving the Award, the COSON Chairman who was honored just a week ago with ‘‘Africa’s Patriotic Personality Award’’ by LEADS Africa, an umbrella body of democratic Students Unions from different universities across Africa, began by jokingly saying ‘‘It looks like the more they fight me, the more the Almighty God elevates me.’’
‘‘I want to thank NANS from the bottom of my heart for this honour. We are proud of you, and what you as a body have been able to achieve at such a time when the country is facing serious challenges. I believe everything is possible and whatever you have set out to achieve is possible. 7 years ago, nobody gave COSON a chance but today COSON is working and working effectively. In the same vein I believe that despite our current challenges, Nigeria can work, and this will only be possible if we are ready to make the necessary sacrifice. I commend NANS for the bravery, for the risk you take. Continue to stand up and speak the truth. I am humbled by the honour’’ Said Chief Okoroji.
The 5-man NANS team consisting of Olamide Odumosu, Vice President National; Odebunmi Idowu, National PRO; Lawal A’pounds, Director of Programmes and Strategy; Dauda Kazeem, Head of Senate; and Ninalowo Saheed, Director of Media also used the opportunity to present to COSON the Certificate of Credence for the society’s excellent service delivery and immense contribution towards the betterment of the economy via royalties’ distribution and protection of intellectual property.
At the over flowing COSON Boardroom for the festive occasion which witnessed a lot of singing were the likes of COSON Directors, Ras Kimono, Maureen Ejezie, and Azeezat Allen and music star, Dr Fabomo. Also present were COSON Consultant, Prince Biodun Eguakhide; COSON General Manager, Mr Chinedu Chukwuji; COSON Head of Finance & Administration, Ms Bernice Eriemeghe; COSON Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Chibueze Okereke; COSON General Counsel, Ms. Simi Wash-Pam and COSON Head of New Media, Mr. Tolu Balogun.