20th December, 2013
Renowned flutist and Chairman, Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, ACC, Tee Mac Omatsola Itseli, has disclosed that he almost died last year after ingesting fake drugs.
The out-going chairman, in a chat with P.M.NEWS Entertainment Cafe during the 2013 Roundtable of the ACC, held at the Four Point by Sheraton, Lekki, Lagos, penultimate week, disclosed that while he is lucky to be alive after falling victim of fake drugs, eight of his puppies died as a result of fake vaccines administered on the animals.
The former Performing Musician Association of Nigeria leader who has handed over the rein of leadership of ACC to Desmond Adeola, Brand Protection Manager, Unilever plc declared that though he’s stepping aside as ACC Chairman, he would still be involved in the struggle to rid the country of fake products because it’s a serious issue that affects millions of Nigerians.
“I don’t need to be the chairman of ACC for me to continue to play a crucial role in the war against counterfeiting and piracy. I would still follow up the fake drugs campaign because this is something that affects every Nigerian irrespective of social status. I nearly died last year after I came down with typhoid because I was exposed to fake drugs. I also lost about eight puppies due to fake vaccines and as if that’s not enough, I nearly lost my house due to fake electrical extension box. So the war goes on and I am ready for the battle,” Tee Mac said.
As chairman of ACC for the last two years, how would he describe the journey? “It has been a very interesting and challenging period. We had a couple of very good outings. We had a march to create awareness about fake drugs and every World Intellectual Property Day is marked with fanfare and we also did a successful anti-malaria campaign with the American consulate.”
Tee Mac lamented that one problem that will continue to plague ACC is the issue of funding. He said ACC is a conglomeration of over 100 trademark owners and regulatory agencies like Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC but receives no funding from any government agency.
“We are fighting a total war and for a war to be successful you need funding. We survive on donations from our sponsors who want their trademarks to be protected and that is not just enough if we are to fight a successful battle. However, we continue to make inroads and the future is bright,” he told P.M.NEWS Entertainment Café.