The Akwa Ibom State Government House in Uyo, was in a celebratory mood on Monday, March 13, 2017 as a high powered delegation of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) arrived the seat of power in the state on their way to holding a major COSON Stakeholders Forum in Uyo.
The visit by the COSON team to the government house was led by
celebrated former President of PMAN and Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji. In the team was Rub – a – dub maestro, Ras Kimono who is a member of the COSON Board and COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji. Also in the team were frontline members of COSON of Akwa Ibom origin such as top Gospel singer, Princess Anne Inyang, the octogenarian highlife legend, Ette Emmanuel Ntia and the respected artiste known as Okuku 1 of Akwa Ibom.
In the absence of the governor, Chief Odum Emmanuel, who was out of the country, the COSON team was welcome to the State by the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Frank Ekpo.
While addressing the Deputy Governor whom Chief Okoroji referred to as a special friend and a comrade in the battle for the protection of the rights of creative people in Nigeria, the COSON Chairman described the visit to Akwa Ibom as a kind of home coming because of the large number of friends he has in the state. He commended the leadership of the state for the significant development that is taking place around Akawa Ibom.
The COSON Chairman also briefed the Deputy Governor who was the first Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, on the tremendous strides being made by COSON in the collection and distribution of copyright royalties to owners of rights in musical works and sound recordings throughout Nigeria and the over 140 collective management organizations in every continent of the world with which COSON has reciprocal representation agreements.
The former president of PMAN said that the COSON leadership had decided to use the opportunity of the visit to Akwa Ibom state to present to the Deputy Governor, the Copyright Medal of Honour, the biggest honour the music industry in Nigeria may bestow on any individual and to place the name, Moses Frank Ekpo, in the COSON Roll of Honour for posterity so that coming generations may be informed of his tremendous efforts in the establishment of the copyright culture in Nigeria and his unmatched commitment to the protection of the rights of creative people in his fatherland.
Reading a citation in the Roll of Honour Ceremonies, Chief Okoroji described Chief Moses Ekpo as an unassailable public servant. He said that it was Moses Frank Ekpo who assembled the wheels and the wings that made the idea of copyright in Nigeria to move and the dream to fly. He described Moses Ekpo as a consummate salesman of profound ideas who spared himself no inconvenience as he went to every nook and cranny of Nigeria promoting the strange concept called copyright and constructing the vehicle in which it is driven till date. Okoroji was emphatic that if copyright is no longer such a strange concept in the country, Nigerians have Ekpo to thank for the development. He reiterated that there probably would have been no COSON in the nation, revolutionizing copyright royalty collection and distribution in Nigeria, without the hard work done by Moses Frank Ekpo MFR.
In response, Chief Moses Ekpo after kissing the Copyright Medal of Honour with which he had just been decorated, went back memory lane in the role he played in the evolution of COSON saying that it is a thing of great pride to him that in his lifetime, he can see that the effort is yielding dividend through the relentless efforts of COSON. He counselled that Nigeria must respect the intellectual property of its citizens because while oil and other minerals may dry up, the creative genius of the Nigerian people will never run dry. He noted that eradicating piracy was a collective effort the nation must make and that it requires the contribution of all. The Deputy Governor promised that Akwa Ibom will lead by example in the respect of the rights of all creative people in Nigeria.
There was great celebration and jubilation by the Government House staff who witnessed the honour done to their Deputy Governor.
The COSON team was later received by the managements of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) and Planet 101.1 FM.