26th July, 2011
The Chairman,Â Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has said that everything is being done to make sure that the late celebrated songstress and actress, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, who died in Lagos on 30 June, is given a burial that will make her millions of fans proud.
Speaking to a group of musicians at the COSON office in Ikeja, Chief Okoroji asked all artistes across the country to prepare themselves to participate in an unprecedented funeral for the Lady of Songs, the first and only female President in the history of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN.
Okoroji , who was also a former President of PMAN, said, â€œnothing is being left to chance. We are working round the clock. Christy Essien-Igbokwe will be buried like a queen â€¦ indeed, her burial will be like that of a Head of State.â€
Chief Okoroji who heads both the Ceremonial and Publicity sub committees for the burial of the musical icon, hinted that â€œin celebrating Christy Essien-Igbokwe, we celebrate every creative person in Nigeria, we celebrate every Nigerian woman who has sought to actualize herself from humble beginnings.
â€œWe want to inspire women. We wish to inspire young people who seek careers in the arts and assure them that they can themselves become great and be celebrated.
â€œWe are inspired by the outpouring of emotions since her death and we are organizing a series of events that will have something for every caliber of fan of Christy Essien-Igbokwe.
â€œPresident Goodluck Jonathan, in the last one year, has shown great respect for the artistes of Nigeria. He has shown a strong desire for artistes to have a pride of place in this nation. We are definitely inspired by that.â€
He added that the full burial plans will be unfolded at a major press conference scheduled for the Igbokwe family residence at Talabi Street in Ikeja on Tuesday, 2 August which will be addressed by the Chairman of the Grand Burial Committee, Dr Austin Izagbo.
According to Okoroji, he is confident that Christy Essien Igbokweâ€™s burial will be reference point in Nigeria for many years because of the calibre of people driving the plans.
â€œI have known Bisi Olatilo for many years. I have never seen him more passionate about getting something done absolutely right like this. He is investing time, money and tremendous goodwill into this. Dr. Izagbo is driving this process with tremendous skill and experience. Look at the caliber of people involved; Ken Calebs Olumese, Onyeka Onwenu, Tee Mac Itseli, Fred Agbaje, Clarion Chukwura, Yeni Kuti, Laolu Akins , Daniel Wilson, Nonye Ben Nwankwo, Alozie Uzoukwu, etc.
â€œWe have a large committee of people expending significant energy. These are people who do not tolerate loose ends and donâ€™t want to be associated with failure,â€ he said.
â€” Bayo Adetu