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Minister expresses shock, sadness over RATTAWU Scribe’s death •Hails Nigerian musicians, advocates rich content in music

By News Express on 05/11/2016

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed shock and sadness over the sudden death of the General Secretary of the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), Comrade Henry Odugala.

In a statement issued in Sokoto on Saturday, the minister described Mr. Odugala as an outstanding and devoted public servant, who displayed uncommon passion and commitment to the welfare of journalists, especially those in the electronic media where he was a broadcaster.

He said the death of Comrade Odugala is a huge loss to the labour movement, the media and the nation at large.

Alhaji Mohammed expressed his condolences to RATTAWU and the family of the deceased, urging them to take solace in the fact that Comrade Odugala lived a life worthy of emulation.

He prayed God to grant repose to the soul of the departed and grant his family the fortitude to bear their irreparable loss.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Mohammed has commended Nigerian musicians for putting the country’s name on the global map, urging them to pay more attention to the need for socially-relevant messages in their music.

He gave the commendation in his keynote speech at the Business Roundtable of the 2016 African Music Awards (AFRIMA) in Lagos on Friday.

“The whole country is listening, dancing and sending via all forms of social media, our music and videos, and our artists clearly have more influence and reach than our law enforcement agencies. As 9ice and 2 Baba boasted, they are the ones with Street Credibility!” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed, who spoke on the topic “Championing Social Justice and Advocacy Through Music”, observed that for music to achieve the desired objective, it must have the right content to drive home the message, saying the works of foremost musicians in Africa, including Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Rex Lawson, Sonny Okosun, Victor Uwaifo, Dan Maraya Jos, Mamman Shatta, IK. Dairo and Ebenezer Obey continue to reverberate because of the message they contained.

He said the legendary musicians all used music to fight social injustice or for advocacy, listing many examples, including 'Unknown Soldier' by Fela; 'Fire in Soweto' by Okosun and  'Nigeria go survive' by Veno Marioghae.

The Minister described music as a powerful tool of communication, saying the Federal Government will leverage on the power of music to promote the National Re-orientation Campaign tagged 'Change Begins With Me,' which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept. 8th 2016.
''Because this campaign is about returning to those moral values that stood our country in good stead, a lot of that can be done through music. In order words, music is a powerful tool of advocacy. Good music has no tribe, no gender, no section, no religion,'' he said.
Alhaji Mohammed hailed AFRIMA organisers for promoting, celebrating and elevating creativity in the area of music.

''This, to me, is one of the most important and credible platforms to promote African Music globally, using Nigeria as a pivot. My sincere hope is that you will do everything possible to sustain AFRIMA which, in your own words, is propelling African Music to the glorious pinnacle far beyond the borders of Africa,'' the Minister said.

Photo: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the panellists at the Music Business Roundtable that kick-started the 2016 African Music Awards in Lagos on Friday

•Photo shows Lai Mohammed.

Source News Express

Posted 05/11/2016 10:10:49 PM

 

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