Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Mr. Efe Omorogbe, Secretary, Association of Music Business Professionals (AMB-PRO), key drivers of ”No Music Day” commemorated across the nation on September 1 2010, have declared the commemoration a huge success. Speaking in Abuja after a meeting with the Honorable Attorney- General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, Chief Okoroji and Mr. Omorogbe described the response by the Nigerian Media and the practitioners in the music industry to the concept of ”No Music Day” as overwhelming.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition, a coalition of the key national associations in the music industry recently declared September 1 of every year as ”No Music Day” a day dedicated to drawing national and international attention to the widespread infringement of the rights of composers, song writers, performers, music publishers and other stakeholders in the music industry in Nigeria.

In Abuja, Chief Okoroji expressed the gratitude of the music industry to the radio stations, TV stations and newspapers that did extensive special features on the rights of Nigerian artistes to mark ”No Music Day” Speaking on the event, Chief Okoroji said, there is no way to know what was contributed by every station or every newspaper but we took note of the wonderful reporting of NN24, AIT, the FRCN Network Service and the different FRCN stations, especially Metro FM, LTV, Superscreen TV, Galaxy Television, Beat FM, Classic FM, Star FM, Radio Continental, Inspiration FM, Radio Lagos, Eko FM, TOP FM, The Guardian, Thisday, The Punch, The Sun, , Daily Independent, Champion, Tribune, High Society, Newswatch, etc. The camaraderie of the media with the music industry was incredible!

According to Mr. Omorogbe, the unity of purpose on ”No Music Day” was so strong that virtually at the same time, Djinee and Laolu Akins were speaking on Beat FM; Sunny Neji was on Radio Continental; Kenny Saint Brown and Chinedu Chukwuji were on Galaxy TV; Mr. Kool, Kofi and Tony Payne were on Superscreen TV; Inferno and Don Tee were on Star FM; Obi Asika was on Classic FM; Jatto was on Radio Lagos; Chief Tony Okoroji was on NN24 and so on, all speaking on the same subject at the same time. Sound Sultan’s documentary was showing on several TV stations across the nation. Wow! Such has never happened in any other country in the world!

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation sole copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings also declared an open day at its headquarters in Lagos for journalists. Many journalists in response stormed COSON to conduct interviews with officers and members of the society or update themselves with the processes of collective management of Copyright.

Anyone may ask: what was so special about September 1 that so much attention was paid to the day? Those who know say that the struggle since Nigeria’s independence for the respect of the rights of Nigerian creative talents came to a head on September 1, 2009 when Nigerian artistes in frustration asked all the over 400 hundred licensed broadcast stations and platforms across the nation not to broadcast any music for several hours. To a lot of artistes, on that historic day in September 2009, Nigerian artistes declared their independence and expressed a refusal to continue to accept what they consider a position of servitude and second class citizenry in their country.

While the request which may have been seen in some quarters as strange had limited success, it set off alarm bells around the country that the patience of the artistic community was about to snap and that it was about time that serious national attention was paid to the pervasive piracy and abuse of intellectual property rights that have devastated an entire generation of creative people in Nigeria.

No Music Day 2009 was preceded a week before by a huge rally of Nigerian artistes, big and small, from every nook and cranny of the nation. At the rally which held at the National Theatre in Lagos, artistes of all colours spoke out in condemnation of the seeming impotence of the authorities as the dreams of thousands of Nigerian artistes are buried under a huge pile of pirated tapes, CDs and DVDs awash and treaded in every market and on every street around the country in open defiance of the law and the rights of the owners of the works.

The big rally at the National Theatre signaled the beginning of a weeklong hunger strike campaign embarked upon by several Nigerian artistes. Day after day, at a hunger tent positioned at the National Theatre, artistes of all ages turned up, spent the day without any food or drink, and in solidarity sent a message to the world: ”Enough is enough”