Posted by By Elyger Agwu on
This year's annual concerts in memory of the Kalabari-born music legend, late Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson began in confusion and ended in chaos. The occasion which took place at the Port Harcourt Civic Centre
This year's annual concerts in memory of the Kalabari-born music legend, late Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson began in confusion and ended in chaos. The occasion which took place at the Port Harcourt Civic Centre last Thursday January 20, was organized by the state Ministry Of Culture and Tourism in conjunction with the state chapter of performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) was engulfed by internal rumbling within the ranks of PMAN.
Close sources said trouble actually started last Tuesday when money was made available to PMAN to organize its members to perform at the event. The source maintained that the executive of he body headed by Arthur Pepple (Jnr.) has decided that performing members would have to give up about 30% of the money paid in to the union's purse which amounts to N10,000.
Many, mostly the elders of the union, had objected to this decision and as such, king sonny brown, great Sinya and Prince Jerry Deemua took the matter to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, complaining that the union has refused to pay them the money due them. The complaint really infuriated the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Krukrubo so much that she detained Permanent Siereh and Iyowuna, Vice Chairman and Welfare Officer respectively until very late in the night when the actual amount was paid to the musicians.
This sources further informed our publication that, in a way to express their annoyance with the trio the band boys refused to play with them thereby frustrating them from doing any stage performance there. The situation must have become very unbearable that the PMAN's chairman in his speech on stage stated that he union must be transformed. In his words: "Our elders have spoilt a lot of things for us. We must not allow this to continue. We the youths of PMAN have decided that things must change!"
In a chat with Sony Brown, he expressed disappointment with he leadership style of Arthur Pepple (Jnr). He claimed that Arthur has polarized the union, as most of the artistes that performed that day were mostly his cronies. He explained that Arthur has made himself a law in PMAN and do not like any other opinion other than his own. In his words, "Arthur is a very fraudulent person.
It is there by the way he does not make any consultation with the wide segment of the body but does things on his own at the expense of PMAN." Sonny Brown pointed out that the elder were sidelined by Arthur, which made this years concert a huge failure. He maintained that Muma Gee's tenure is better when compared to this present leadership if the Rex Lawson concert is used as a yardstick
Other artistes who spoke to this publication questioned how the fund made available for the concert was shared. They complained of not receiving the money due them, even after the deduction. They questioned what happened to the money budgeted for Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and Sir Victor Uwaifo who eventually did not attend the show.
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