The Performing Musicians’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) which has known no peace in recent times is currently gearing up for another round of in-fighting as members of the Lagos State chapter are spoiling for war for allegedly being left out of the last delegates conference in Osogbo. AHMED BOULOR reports
THE fact that Admiral Dele Abiodun has been returned as the president of PMAN at the recently held 11th delegate conference in Osogbo, Osun State on Wednesday, 26 January is no longer news.
What is news is that some members of the union especially delegates in Lagos State have expressed dissatisfaction with the process, alleging that the present leadership of the association has left them out of the electoral process which saw the return of Dele Abiodun president.
Two days before the election, an emergency Town Hall Meeting was summoned at the National Secretariat of PMAN in Ikeja, Lagos by the second vice president of PMAN, Mr. Ibezim Okilo, popularly known as Dr. Zimakoy, but to the greatest consternation of many that turned up for the meeting, the premises of PMAN was under lock and key.
The security operatives at the gate said they were acting on the instructions of the supposed suspended Secretary General of PMAN, Idowu Blessing who ordered that the National Secretariat be locked. But the gates were eventually thrown open when the security operatives on standby were prevailed upon by the DPO of the Nigerian Police Force (MAN Center), and that was after Dr. Zimakoy had lodged a formal complaint.
When asked why thought such an order was placed by the Secretary General of PMAN, an enraged Dr. Zimakoy thundered.
“At the last delegate elections, we called for a Town Hall Meeting today to discuss on the way forward for PMAN but to our greatest surprise we were locked outside the premises of the union by thugs parading themselves as security guards who claimed to be acting on the instructions of a suspended Secretary General who has a case of financial misappropriation to answer.
“Dele Abiodun does not want the public to know the atrocities that he has committed that is the reason the elections in Osogbo, Osun state is taking place without him informing some principal officers of PMAN.
“We have gone to court and a summon has been served to Dele Abiodun. We are not in support of any “Kangaroo election”. Anybody that is selected as the president of PMAN will not be recognized as such when he gets here. Dele Abiodun has refused to show us the details of the accounts that PMAN has with WEMA Bank because there is so much money in that account that he does not want the public to know about.
“There is a court summon stopping the last illegal NEC meeting held in December which proposed the delegate election that took place in Osogbo. The election does not concur with the constitution of PMAN and it is unacceptable to us.” He fumed.
Adebanjo Samson, an official of the Lagos state chapter of PMAN had this much to say about the on-going developments in PMAN. “I believe Dele Abiodun is matured enough to ensure things are done accordingly because PMAN is a brand name that is recognized beyond the shores of Nigeria.
“As a state officer of PMAN, Lagos Chapter, we were not informed about the elections in Oshogbo. But we initially got wind that Lagos state was not going to be carried along in the process. We then approached Dele Abiodun and the General Secretary of PMAN, Idowu Blessing about our findings and we were later presented with a form to fill which in our estimation was not genuine enough. We did not fill the forms but we later invited delegates for election, and having elected our delegates we have been waiting for them to give us further directives.
“The state of affairs in PMAN is not encouraging because musicians expect the union to bring food to musicians’ table. It was also surprising to note that PMAN could not even put together a concert to celebrate Nigeria @50. The current state of PMAN I must tell you is giving us musicians so much to worry about.” He added.
Ras Dennis Baker, the vice chairman of Lagos State chapter of PMAN says whoever emerges as PMAM would be rejected. Hear him: “On the 14th of December Dele Abiodun hurriedly called for a National Executive Council meeting even without the notice of the Lagos state chapter of PMAN. He has suddenly forgotten that he assumed the office of PMAN through the Lagos state chapter of the union. We do not even know those that are contesting for the elections and we going to reject who ever emerges as the president of PMAN at the delegate conference.
Reggae artiste and member of PMAN, Righteousman, lent his voice too: “I want Nigerian’s to know that there is nothing wrong with PMAN but the head. The land is green but our leaders are greedy, the land is fruitful but our leaders are unfaithful, the land is fertile but our mothers are barren. PMAN needs prayers; we need a change and change is the only thing that is constant in life.” He said.
A day after he was re-elected as the President of PMAN, a call was put through to Dele Abiodun and he was asked if the claims made by the earlier mentioned members of the Lagos State PMAN were anything to go by and he replied thus:
“Well, sometimes people can be mischievous because we invited delegates from 36 states of the Federation. Delegates were invited from Maiduguri, Calabar, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Rivers, Kogi, Nassarawa and others states and we placed more emphasis on such delegates because the distance from all those places to Osogbo is a bit far when compared to somebody coming from Lagos.
“Circulars were sent to all those states including Lagos and a certain Ras Baker who is the vice chairman of Lagos State PMAN also collected the said circular on behalf of Lagos State delegates. He was also given some forms to sell and based on that, delegates were elected and two of those elected delegates were present at the elections in Osogbo. Ras Baker simply refused to come to the elections because he connived with some people thinking that the delegate conference in Osogbo will not hold.
“They simply have no case and I think everything I did was within the ambit of the PMAN constitution. I am soon going to correct most of the misconception that some of our members are trying to promote. I am trying to make sure that all the delegates that attended the delegate conference return to their various destinations before I head to Lagos. If some people refuse to be part of history, it is their problem.” Dele Abiodun replied before the line went off.