FG’ll leverage power of music to promote national orientation


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to leverage on the power of music to promote the national re-orientation campaign tagged ‘Change Begins with Me.’
Alhaji Mohammed said this in Abuja on Wednesday when a group of collectors of music dating back to 1914, under the banner of the Evergreen Music Limited, paid him a courtesy visit in his office, in Abuja.
Hailing the enviable role of music in inculcating morals and uniting the country, the minister said good music has no tribe, section or religion, adding, “We believe that this is very important to us because when you look at our campaign, it’s about returning to those old morals and values that stood Nigeria in good stead and you can learn more from music than anything.
”That is why I believe that we will gladly partner with you, because we are pitching from the same side of the field. We want Nigerians to go back to this old music because they not only preach good values, but they have actually chronicled the history of Nigeria.”
He saluted foremost musicians like Rex Lawson, Dan Maraya, Victor Olaiya, Victor Uwaifo, IK Dairo, Mamman Shatta and Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who stood up against injustice while also promoting morals through their music.
He underscored the role music plays in advocacy and in mobilising the people to pursue a common cause.
“Music has been used to build government and for advocacy. When Nigeria changed from driving on the right to the left, it was the likes of Ebenezer Obey and Ayinla Omowura that were used to sensitise Nigerians. When we transited from pound sterling to naira and kobo, it was the same musicians that were used,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed commended Evergreen Music Limited for being the repository of Nigerian music, saying it is doing a great service for posterity.
Earlier, Evergreen Music Limited chairman, Chief Femi Esho, said the group has a collection of about 150,000 African songs dating back to 1914.
He said his group delved into the collection of old music in order to prevent them from going into extinction, especially because of the messages they convey.
Chief Esho advised the present crop of musicians to emulate the old ones, by enriching their music with good content.
Commending the information minister’s vigour in promoting Nigeria’s culture, particularly in the area of music, he said the minister was doing an invaluable service to the nation,
He however added that “I like what the present boys are doing, but 90 or 95 per cent of them are making noise, not music, because good music should have content and it has to talk about something in particular.”