Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s largest copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, has appealed for the pardon of the 22 year old musician in Kano State, Aminu Yahaya Sharif, who was recently sentenced to death for blasphemy.
In his “No Music Day” address to the nation issued from COSON House in Ikeja, and syndicated on multiple media platforms this September 1, the Chairman Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, said, “as we mark “No Music Day”, we wish to humbly appeal for the pardon of the 22 year old musician in Kano State, Aminu Yahaya Sharif, who was recently sentenced to death for blasphemy. We wish to state that we are an organization representing the interest of musicians and others in the music industry”.
Continued Chief Okoroji, “Our organization is neither religious, political or tribal. We have members from every state in Nigeria belonging to different religions and different political parties and we respect the beliefs of each of them. We make our appeal on completely humanitarian and compassionate grounds and hope that other organizations and individuals will join us in pleading that the life of this young Nigerian is spared”
In the address, Chief Okoroji also said, “Every year, in marking “No Music Day”, our key objective has been to engage the Nigerian people and the various governments on the potential contributions of Nigerian creativity to the development of the Nigerian nation and the necessity to fully deploy the substantial comparative advantage which our nation possesses in this area so as to provide hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs to the teeming masses of Nigerian youth who parade the streets of our country almost hopelessly and which hopelessness invariably attracts them to become laborers in the devil’s workshop”.
In the words of the former President of PMAN, “Everywhere you go, the ingenuity of the Nigerian people continues to be on display. Our music, movies, literature, fashion, programming, and similar products of the creative endeavour are in substantial demand across the world. In the creative industry, Nigeria has significant comparative advantage. We are only asking for people who have the vision, the passion and the understanding of the new world to be in the right positions to spark the fire and change the national narrative”
“No Music Day” is traceable to that historic week in 2009 when Nigerian artistes of different persuasions embarked on a weeklong hunger strike staged in front of the National Theatre in Lagos. The hunger strike which was a result of the frustration of the musicians with the devastating level of intellectual property theft in Nigeria was the prelude to what has become known as “No Music Day” in Nigeria. The day was September 1, 2009 when as practitioners in the Nigerian music industry, musicians in one voice asked the over 400 licensed broadcast stations in the country not to broadcast music for a significant period of the day and “No Music Day” was born.