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COURT JUDGEMENT OR NOT, I'M STILL PMAN PRESIDENT -TEE MAC OMATSOLA ISELI INSISTS

By NBF News
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Despite the fact that he was driven out of office by a court judgment, Tee Mac Mac Omatsola Iseli, the immediate past president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) insists he is the authentic president of the association.

International flutist and musician has since been carrying Nigerian musicians along in all his dealings, both at home and abroad. Tee Mac, who succeeded Bolaji Rosiji when the latter resigned, having been part of the last delegates conference held in Kaduna, was later driven out of office in a dramatic manner by the union's national exco led by juju musician, Admiral Dele Abiodun.

But with an appeal still pending in court, the Niger Delta man of many parts recently opened up to Daily Sun on why he remains the union's legal president; his rumoured death in South Africa during the World Cup; the $200 billion grant to Nigerian entertainment industry by President Goodluck Jonathan and others. Excerpts:

Rumoured death in South Africa
It was very embarrassing to hear about it. I was preparing for the show and suddenly, people started calling me that there was a rumour in Nigeria that I died in a crash in South Africa . But it was soon discovered to be a hoax as the entire media besieged me and confirmed that I was hale and hearty.

'I have no idea of those responsible for the wicked act. My sister who is a High Court judge, called to find out, Facebook was also awash with people wanting to know the truth just as text messages started pouring in.

I think it came from the same people who have been trying to harm me. The same people we arranged a peace meeting with at the Zone 2 Police Station, but who raided PMAN, looted it, destroyed everything, killed my two dogs among other crimes. I could not believe that musicians could resort to this kind of thuggery because the interlocutory injunction they filed was non-executable.

Most people still don't know that we never actually had the case to decide who is the president, the contention then was on if they can use Mr. Fred Agbaje as their counsel which the court approved. He had not even submitted an evidence of his election to the court like I did with every necessary material. He was not able to provide anything to back up his claims. Our constitution stipulates that the incumbent president must be available during the election which is to be organized by the secretary-general. So, if they went to Uyo to hold election, neither the incumbent president then nor the secretary-general and no delegates knew about it.

I think it was more of an extended aggression vis-à-vis their battle with Charly Boy while in office. Dele Abiodun was suspended and dismissed as a member of PMAN, but since he has been my friend for about 20 years, I kept everything peacefully. I've never spoken negative about him. That is not to say, however, that I liked the way he reacted because his actions have adversely affected the union. It has made it look foolish in the eyes of upcoming and younger musicians. You can see that even the elders have been thrown into disarray.

Despite the PMAN crisis, you served as Deputy Chairman of Nigeria at 50 Organising Committee, aside being part of the Nigerian delegation to world cup held in South Africa 2010.

This shows that the government still respects and recognizes me as the PMAN president until and unless the Appeal Court rules otherwise. I'm the rightful president of the union.

Other engagements
We are working on a bill that can empower the musicians to move forward. A body will be in control. I have been working with the Minister of Finance and the World Bank on this grant which will go into developing the entertainment industry. We have established FIMCOP with 65 shareholders including Prof Pat Utomi, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Sunny Neji, Nollywood top stars, and a board of six directors which is representing each field. I've been elected as its chairman by the assembly of shareholders.

We have a lot of investors coming in from across the globe. We're going to build multipurpose halls across the land for film shows and musical shows. Relevant equipments would also be provided so that it is available at each location for anyone that needs it. For the upcoming ones, we are trying to establish a free music academy in Ajegunle, Lagos called the Ajegunle Academy of Music which will be free.

President Goodluck Jonathan's $200m donation to the entertainment industry. It is not a donation, but a facility. People can apply for a loan to produce/procure a record, equipment or movie, but such a loan must be properly documented and paid back. It will be well utilized because it will put Nigerian showbiz to where it should be.