Its Illegal, Kenny George Warns
There are indications that the fragile peace in the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) may soon be shattered amidst the long drawn impasse over who controls the soul of the nation’s premier musicians guild is still lingering.
Barely four months after last year’s elections which produced Mr. Pretty Okafor as new president alongside the likes of Sunny Neji, Zaaky Azzay, Tolu Obey and others as his lieutenants, another group claiming to be the “authentic PMAN” is set to hold what it tagged “the real elections’’ before January end.
A reliable source within the group told our reporter that “every arrangement has been concluded to make it the most successful election of the musicians body in recent years and an opportunity to sieve the wheat from the chaff.’’
“The dates are January 26th and 27th at a venue soon to be announced in Abuja. There will be nothing to hide about it unlike the one said to have been done last year in the wee hours of the night. That is not in our character. We have the mandate of the Labour and Employment Minister, Dr Chris Ngige and he will be around alongside other dignitaries to witness its conduct and transparency,’’ the source squealed.
He was however not forthcoming on the subsisting court case hovering around the matter which has not been sorted, saying that it “has nothing to do with the impending elections.’’
He explained that the elections was to have been held long before now but for the fact that they wanted true democracy to thrive among themselves first whereby every contestant was given equal opportunity to join the race.
“There will be nothing like imposition of candidates, that’s why it took us this long. The minister actually gave us the green light middle of last year to put our house in order and conduct an election that will produce credible people to run our affairs. The important thing to note here is that this will be the authentic election and its winners the authentic people to direct its affairs henceforth. No more back yard business.’’
Reacting to the development, however, Dr Kenny Ama George, General Secretary of PMAN said: ‘’Please I have no hand in such illegality, especially when there is a pending suit challenging the last PMAN Delegates Conference that produced the current executive.’’
Our checks however reveal that the court case may not be an impediment to the proposed election as it was an injunction filed by their working committee chairman of the group, Chris Mba, restraining the other parties from parading themselves as PMAN executive.
“There is nothing in it, it was meant to checkmate the excesses of Mr Pretty Okafor and his men. So the new helmsmen can always withdraw it as the need arises. The election will hold as slated,’’ the source clarified.
He revealed that the Minister had asked the Pretty Okafor group to join them and produce their own candidates to vie for the elections but instead of complying, they went ahead to conduct a separate one.
Contacted, a former officer of the association, Charles Imoioame popularly known as Charlimo, confirmed both the dates and venue of the elections which he said was long overdue.
Our reporter scooped that although the likes of Tee Mac Itsueli, Orits Williki, Perry Omas, Hajia Dangaji and a few others still eye the premier position, none of them may have it. One of two unknown, but highly influential young men from the South-South region of the country is expected grab the coveted position.
“Anything can still happen. But it was unanimously agreed that the presidency will be ceded to the Niger Delta region this time around,’’ the source concluded.