Tuesday 19 August 2014

[FEATURED] PMAN Light Up Unity Flame Amidst Anxiety

I have no plans to contest for PMAN president, says Lucciano WORRIED over the myriad of challenges currently facing the nation, members of the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN), seem to have set aside their difference in a bid to seek for peace and unity in the country. Through a nationwide campaign tagged Light Up the Unity Flame For Nigeria, the music body intends to use music as a platform to unite Nigerians from different tribes and religion, while preaching peace as the best option in dealing with the current security challenges.
Speaking at the formal flag off of the initiative held recently at the PMAN National Headquarter in Ikeja, Lagos, the interim leader of the body Kevin Lucciano Gabriel informed that PMAN as an association believes in One Nigeria and will continue to salvage her together with all well-meaning patriots. 

“At time of peace, music berths joy; at times of despair, music berths hope; at times of division, music berths unity. I have called us here today to join the PMAN family in lighting a candle of prayer for our country Nigeria. Through this campaign, we intend to raise the flame of unity that will burn from city to city, household to household, state to state, churches to mosque and schools to shelter.” 

According to Lucciano, the Unity Flame, which will visit different parts of the country, will finally land at the Abuja National Stadium on October 1 (Independence Day), with a massive live concert that will parade different generations of artistes. 

“We will use our force of music as a rallying point for peace and unity in our country because music is a fundamental constituent of our human life and co-existence. The concert will feature musicians from all generation, while motivational speakers will be on hand to inspire us. At the event, religious leaders will light up an enduring flame through their prayers. We will inspire our country to celebrate that which unites us more than that which divides us.” 

Though many have described the project as a good initiative, security challenge remains a major concern, especially with Abuja as host city for the grand finale.
“In terms of security, we are praying that the Boko Haram issue and Ebola outbreak would have gone down by then. However, we are in touch with security agencies to ensure we have a hitch free rally; they are in support of this event. No matter the situation in the country, we must celebrate our Independence Day. A lot of Nigerian artistes play a vital role in the release of late
South African leader Nelson Mandela through their music. If we can do that for South Africa, why not our country,” Lucciano quizzed.
As against rumours in some quarters alleging that he plans to extend his stay in office beyond October 29 next year, the interim leader declared he has no intention to contest for PMAN president. 

“Right now, we are trying to do our best for Nigerian artistes. By now, PMAN should have a radio station to promote works by our members. We were talking about Alaba as our biggest problem in terms of piracy, but today, the digital music download is our headache; who is regulating the operators? These are things we have been trying to resolve. However, I have no plans to stay in office beyond my mandate.” 

He continued: “My work here is to build a structure for the union and create an avenue for a credible election for another person to carry on. I have a lot of other things to do; I have my family to take care of,” he noted. 

To Lucciano, generational gape remains a major problem in PMAN.
“There’s a huge generational gape in the music industry; PMAN has always been for the older artistes. I would appreciate that younger artistes would come and dominate the association; this industry is for them.” 

He declared that the initiative is purely a PMAN project and has no political undertone.
“This is not a government event; it is an event organised by Nigerian artistes under the umbrella of PMAN. We have a planning committee at work, making sure that all is well. At the event, we are going to speak in one voice; we are going to unify the country through music.” 

Though organisers are yet to release the list of performers for the concert, there are indications that the show will parade both the older generation and new generation artistes from different tribes, with some international guest artistes being expected from South Africa, Ghana and Senegal. 

In his remark, Limpopo crooner Kcee, who joined in lighting the Unity Candle at the flag off, pledged his full support to the project, which he believes would go a long way in bringing a lasting peace and unity in the country. 

“We are here to support this movement. The PMAN president is our friend and he has been leading the association in the right direction. Music brings peace and togetherness, so, this is our opportunity to rally Nigerians together using music as the platform, so that we can take our nation back to what it used to be.” 

To Kcee, this is a call for the nation, which every well-meaning artiste must answer.
“I’m not here because it’s PMAN; this is a call for our nation. I’m here because I want to contribute to the ongoing effort to unify the country. I’m sure most of the artistes are watching to see how serious we are; they will eventually join us,” he assured. 

In his remark, Harrysong noted that, “we are talking about music, peace and lighting of unity candle. If we can put this kind of ideas together and push it, it will be better for us; I want to see Nigeria becoming great again. Every movement of peace and music, Harrysong will always be there.” 

To Daddy Showkey, this is not a platform for politically campaign.
“As an artiste, you have the right to support any candidate of your choice; you have the right to choose which product to endorse. However, this particular event is purely musician’s affair and our focus is the nation not any political group.” 

In a chat with the CEO of South West Media, Charles Ndudi, he informed that the South Africa-based outfit has decided to support the PMAN peace initiative. 

“We all know the situation in Nigeria and we can’t continue to sit and look. This is a project will unify the country. This is the time for us as a union, as a people and as a country to hold on to the candle and pray to God in unity. As the consultant for the event, we will be giving our details of the concert as time goes on,” he said.