By Eric Elezuo
Saturday, May 20, 2017, marked a turning point in the life of the Tony Okoroji-led Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as its magnificent edifice, situated at 41 Oluwaleimu Street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, was commissioned and declared open for public use.
The event which defied the heavy downpour, attracted the who is who in the music industry, causing a controlled a traffic lock down in the area as people streamed from every direction to partake in the history making event.
The sparkling green new COSON House, the first real property owned by any organization, association, union or group in the Nigerian creative industry, was commissioned and declared open by the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo, ably assisted by veteran musicians among whom were Akassa King, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Afro Juju crooner, Sir Shina Peters.
The commissioning was an exercise in top planning beginning with an elaborate cocktail on the expansive red carpet laid out in front of COSON House with enchanting lights radiating from the bowels of the earth.
As the light cocktail continues simultaneously with the official event, Sir Shina Peters took the singular honour of hoisting the Nigerian flag while Sir Victor Uwaifo followed suit with the flag of COSON.
Afterwards, Prof Egerton Uvieghara, former Chairman of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, unveiled the sign that welcomes one to COSON House while the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo cut the tape to commission the building amidst applause, amazing fireworks and balloons released to the skies.
The guests were taken round the facility for inspection of the state of the art facilities in the building, and afterwards, congregated at the COSON House Arena on the top floor of the building where they were a video show of the COSON journey was aired. It was followed by performances and speeches. Meanwhile, on the ground floor, a band kept those who could not be accommodated at the COSON House Arena grooving all day.
Speaker after speaker at the commissioning poured encomium on the visionary leadership of Chief Tony Okoroji whose indomitable spirit made the COSON House dream a reality. Chief Okoroji on his part thanked his Board, the management of COSON and the team of skilled Nigerian professionals who “worked tirelessly to build COSON House in record time without any support from government, donor agency or loan from any bank”.
An after party for all artisans, who participated in one way or another in making the COSON dream a reality, was held at the Arena. They were joined by the staff of COSON for the mother of all parties.
Dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo, who was the first Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission; Professor Egerton Uvieghara, former Chairman of the Nigerian Copyright Commission. Among the array of stars at the commissioning were music icons like Prof Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters, Chris Ajilo, Baba Dee Fasasi, Azeezat, Kenny Saint Best, Princess Ann Inyang etc.
There were also music industry gurus like Obi Asika of Cabal Entertainment, Dr. Ben Ofoeze of Billtop, Mr Joel Ajayi of MULOAN, Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, immediate past president of MORAN and Engineer Sharon Esco Wilson of MUPMAN.
Others include Ken Calebs Olumese, Guvnor of Niteshift Coliseum; Ayo Animashaun of wave making HipTV; Azu Arinze, Publisher of Yes International Magazine; Lawrence Wilbert of Agilent Wireless; Steve Judo of Channels Television; Nnamdi Agwunobi, CEO Greenbee Communications; Chidi Uloka representing the Director-General of NTA, Obi Ezeilo, Lagos Zonal Manager of the Nigerian Copyright Commission representing the DG of the commission, Mr John Asein, C.E.O REPRONIG, Mr. Afam Nwokedi, Principal Partner Still Water and Chairman Intellectual Property committee, NBA etc. The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was also represented as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo and Pastor Anselem Madubuko among many media houses.