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Like COSON like governance in Nigeria

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Chairman of COSON Chief Tony Okoroji


Watching Okoroji and Ajayi submit their cases as proponent and opponent in the life of COSON on Channels TV as Otaigwe and Alero stand as moot judges, one is reminded of everything about governance or corporate governance in Nigeria. It is also like PDP and APC struggling for sustainability or unsustainability of Nigeria. And, in all, it borders on transparency, clean governance, integrity, or none of those for ill health and acrimony to thrive. And like the fish always pray, let the seas and waters be clean so that it can live, so also Nigerians ought to pray that the life of Nigeria is bigger than anyone in it because if there is no Nigeria there will be no Nigerian.

Like Okoroji ended his submission by referring to avoiding COSON turn to dead PMAN like Ajayi ended his own submission crying that Okoroji had claimed working with the majority of members to siphon the wealth generated by the minority hence he should resign.

That in deed is like the current Nigeria we are in. Corporate governance which ought to be based on working co-ordinately, either in organistic or mechanistic manner, depending on the type of structure adopted, with clear mission and objectives, so as to achieve a corporate goal or goals that add to the betterment of humans in their different endeavours seem to be in negation in Nigeria.

We are yet to see any approach of governance or human endeavour towards sustainability of basic needs of Nigeria that had stood the test of time since Nigeria’s independence. Not water, not clean air, not transportation, not shelter not to talk of education or governance process. Nollywood of poor artists had tried to break the jinx in trying to let Nigerians see how sustenance work but had seen itself divisive like it happened to PMAN and, as at now, COSON. Both are organisations struggling to see that their members survive notwithstandingmyriad of oppressive activities by other greedy humans who intend to reap where they did not sow.

Okoroji was once the President of PMAN as well as promoters of artists; and as also known to be a record label owner. After him, it turned out to be total chaos in PMAN. He moved on to COSON and the copyright claims of artists started receiving attention from the piracy state it was known for to, somehow, payment of rights to artists.According to him it is not yet uhuru as there are more contending issues to tackle so as to get full financial rights of artists settled as well as get their building completed which stands as one of their assets. His opponents see him as running it as a one man show and he disagrees.

Ajayi as the Finance Committee Chairman since 2012 complains of being schemed out in 2018 and demands that Okoroji resigns as the chairman so as to have a new chairman since the rule says that directors elected on the floor of the General Assembly choose their chairman and Okoroji contends that even at that, it is still the duty of the General Assembly to decide who they want to be their chairman being the supreme body and it is not within his power to dissolve the board or authorise the re-audit of COSON that has already been ratified by the same assembly just for the sake of probing, on afterthought, the board he chairs. Ajayi contends that the General Assembly referred to and seen as the supreme body is always convened on crowd-rented approach and claim that they mostly come from Benin with Prof Uwaifo as the arrowhead.

Crowd renting is an issue of transparency or ‘unclean water’ of governance that needed to be clarified as it is even seen in one or two quoted stocks’ AGM one had participated in the recent times as well as political parties’ primaries in Nigeria. Like some political parties primaries with fictitious names as members and bogus majority acclaiming a candidate as a winner like entering into a venue of corporate organisation’s AGM meant to have been electronic invitation generated/activated and you still line up to register your presence at the venue and discover that most of the people registering before and after you had no identifiable membership number like you. You wonder how they came to be there in the first place and, what is worse, some collect a package and leave the venue as if the package is the main reason of coming to the AGM.

In effect it is like politicians like board members like poor unconcerned or helpless Nigerians. Both swimming and breathing in unclean waters and like the fish warns, it amounts to its own peril, if it fails to pray that the waters be clean first before ever thinking of its own life, as it life depends on the state of the water; because it knows that a clean water reduces the chances of its extinction.

Okoroji and Ajayi just reflected on what goes on in most Nigeria’s corporate organisations and COSON should be used as case study on how the poor people could organise themselves and feel a bit independent of Nigerian politics and politicians and the weak governance process in Nigeria as long as the politicians do not come out and legislate and start seeing COSON as part of their oversight functions to regulate and intimidate for whatever private financial benefit they intend to make out of it like it is done currently with most of the revenue collecting parastatals.

Okoroji and Ajayi and their supporters must shield their swords and work hard to make COSON a sustainable organisation so that the Synergy of great institution and great personalities could merge to make Nigerian governance process both issues of strong institutions and strong personalities. People are wont to say that there are needs to have great institutions as against great personalities but they quickly remember great personalities that manned failing institutions like it is being done now in UK and its parliamentary system that never heard of the speaker of the parliament until it seems to be failing in the drudgery of Brexit as the speaker makes mess of the PM. In Africa as my father says it: keep a great man keep a great elephant or keep a great carer keep a great cow so that if the cow decides to go mad the carer will be in position to restore sanity. Ariole, professor of French and Francophone studies, wrote from University of Lagos.


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