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Tony Okoroji, Late Chris Ajilo and Sir Victor Uwaifo at COSON Songs Awards 2017 held at Eko Hotel
Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji has paid glowing tribute to the highlife great and indomitable music producer, Chris Ajilo who just died at the ripe age of 91.
Okoroji said that Nigeria had lost an irreplaceable music icon in the passing to glory of the boundless Chris Ajilo.
Said he: “I worked with the great Chris Ajilo on so many endeavors. In each case his dedication, humility and contribution were first class. He was a member of my Executive Council in the golden years of PMAN. He was also General Manager of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) while I was chairman. There is no doubt that Chris Ajilo laid the foundation stone on which COSON was built. While he had retired before the transition of PMRS to COSON, he remained an unflinching member of COSON, attending and participating actively in every major event of the society and giving total support towards the progress of COSON.
“In 2017, when Lagos State celebrated 50 years of the creation of Nigeria’s most vibrant state, whose music was chosen as the iconic song that captured the essence of Lagos, its spirit and the beauty of its people? Lagos went for the song that year after year, decade after decade, has become the anthem of Lagos, ’Eko Gbagbere’ which was composed in the early 60s by the master musician, Chris Ajilo, the man who led the Independence Band at the Federal Palace Hotel in 1960, the people’s saxophonist, a music teacher by calling, Artiste & Repertoire Manager with a difference, producer of numerous hit songs and numerous hit artistes and the quintessential copyright man.
“On November 5, 2017 at the COSON Song Awards at Eko Hotel, the music industry and many lovers of music stood up to celebrate the anthem of Lagos, ‘Eko Gbagbere’, the evergreen song that will never die and the creative genius behind the song, the master musician, Chris Ajilo.
“The warm spirit of Chris Ajilo will be missed. His support of budding artistes will be missed. The sweet-sweet sound of his saxophone will be missed. His total commitment to music will be missed. His dedication to the copyright cause will be missed. Yes, all of us in the Board, membership, management and staff of COSON will miss the irreplaceable Chris Ajilo”.