Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture held on the 24th of January an interaction with Nigerian Entertainers and stakeholders at the Southern Sun Hotel in Lagos. Contrary to the photos in the media, the meeting was an embarrassment and a waste of time. Read the account of what happened from an Insider:
The meeting began with exchange of pleasantries; hugs and handshakes, friendly gestures and smiles. As the folks settled down, the Honourable Minister for Information gave a brief remark on what the agenda for the meeting was, seeking their buy in for what he called the new change mantra “it begins with me” He also informed that campaign which is like the War against Indiscipline will be launched on the 15th of March, 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lai Mohammed said the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign and the South African consulting firm handling the project had produced a theme song for the campaign already but he had changed his mind based on the advise he got from Mo Abudu, the CEO of Ebony Life TV who facilitated the meeting on the need to get the Nigerian top entertainment industry acts to ‘Jazz it up’ referring to the theme song.
Some of the artistes present who had sensed that the campaign is a National project of great importance which they have to key into immediately requested for the theme song.
However the theme song was not presented by neither the Minister, the South African consulting company nor the Facilitator. The Artistes started saying that there was truly no theme song indirectly accusing the Minister of telling a lie.
Mo Abudu, the facilitator quickly intervened and said ‘theme song or no theme song, the essence of the meeting was to come up with a theme song that will be befitting’.
Lai Mohammed then asked the artistes to come up with a theme song before the launch of the Campaign and Mavin Records owner and award winning producer Don jazzy was mandated to lead the assignment.
DonJazzy however told the Minister that due to the time frame which is 45 days from the day of the meeting, that he will not be able to handle that and suggested the that the project was assigned to legendary producer Cobhams.
The Minister, Lai Mohammed insisted that he cannot push the launch date further and it was either the Artistes agree to do it or forget it.
This comment was said to have infuriated rap artiste Jude Abaga aka MI, who told the minister that he was being very disrespectful and grandstanding saying that the mere fact that he brought a South African company to boss a strategic project to Nigeria was a slap on the face of the Industry.
Several other artistes backed MI’s position but this did not make the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed change his stance. Contrary to the pictures, the event was a waste of time as no deal concerning the theme song was struck between the Entertainers and the Minister of Information. As a matter of fact everyone in the meeting left with the slogan ‘Jazz it Up’ making mockery of the phrase Lai Mohammed had earlier used.
Present at the meeting were; Kwam 1, KSA, Don Jazzy, MI, Supreme Mavin Dynasty, Chocolate City, Tiwa Savage, P-Square, Jude Okoye,staff of the Ministry of Information and consultants were present at the meeting.