According to peacefmonline, Bice Osei ‘Obour’ Kuffour, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), has come under the axe following criticisms from his own executives and some members of the union. Some very influential regional executives are accusing him of lack of transparency and accountability in his reign so far, especially regarding the just ended maiden edition of the Ghana Music Week which was organised on Monday March 4 to Sunday March 10 .
They have openly expressed their displeasure with the Obour’s administration citing negligence, lack of information flow and and accountability especially on issues relating to finances. Mr George William Dickson, the Central Regional Chairman of MUSIGA, one of the disgruntled members disclosed to Akwasi Aboagye on Peace FM’s “Entertainment Review”, the ordeal some of the members and executives from the other regions who journeyed all the way to Accra went through in their one week stay in the capital.
“In the initial stages, we were housed in a decent and comfortable hotel, but all of a sudden everything changed and we were moved from one hotel to another…we kept changing hotel rooms like the clothes on our back….we were not provided with quality meals and most executives from the other regions were not really involved in the festivities apart from the opening ceremony where cultural dance groups from all ten regions performed,” he lamented.
According to him, he is not the only person unhappy with how the MUSIGA President spearheaded the Ghana Music Week celebration especially when it came to the issue of regional representation and their involvement in final decision making process.
“I’m talking on behalf of all the regional executives and we were not happy at the treatment meted out to us. I have raised our concerns with a couple of media personnel (hoping that our plight will be highlighted) but till date nothing is seen to be done…and I have told Obour that even presently, most people are peeved,” he added.
The Central Regional Chairman of MUSIGA was unequivocal in his demands that all what they, as regional executives, want from their President, Obour, is a disclosure on how much the entire projected budget for Ghana Music Week was, how much sponsorship was raised and finally,
who owns the brand, “Ghana Music Week”.
When reached for his comments, the MUSIGA President stated that generally, the “Ghana Music Week”, being the first of such music festivals in the country, was well received by the general
To him, everything went on course save for a few hitches and unforeseen circumstances. Reacting to the Central Regional Chairman’s concerns on the same platform, Obour said “Well he has raised very legitimate concerns how MUSIGA structure is. I can’t just say something which has not been discussed or confirmed”.
He continued; “MUSIGA has a National Executive Council (NEC) which is made up of the national executives who are part of the National Executive Committee together with all the Regional Chairmen and Secretaries and under that, there is the National Executive Committee.
Everything has to go through the process so until the finance department completes their report, I can’t state the budget and how much was raised from sponsorship because that is not my work”.
He asked that Mr Dickson should not be unduly castigated but be seen as one who perhaps has the interest of the union at heart.
“I know that Dickson is somebody who is very concerned about happenings within the Union. I know he has a positive mind for MUSIGA so people should not take his and other concerns in a bad light. It is all for best of the union that is why he speaking with so much passion,” Obour said.
Touching on the issue of who owns the brand Ghana Music Week (GMW), Obour explained that though the GMW was organised by MUSIGA, it was originally conceptualised by Musicbiz Limited (M.biz) and the agency responsible for Ghana Music Week Marketing Syndication is Yendis Media Consultancy Limited. In effect Ghana Music Week is owned by three different entities, according to Obour.
Another Regional Executive, Israel Boakye, who is the General Secretary of the Brong Ahafo branch of MUSIGA, also expressed similar negative sentiments about the week-long music festival to the host of Peace FM’s “Entertainment Review” programme.
“It is true we are not happy about what happened during the program…We were taken to a nice hotel but meals and some financial inducements due us for our upkeep were not given to us,” he revealed.
Israel, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of all the regional executives in the Brong Ahafo, stressed that decision making and everything about MUSIGA are always not decentralized leaving the rest of the regions in the dark.
He also added that he firmly suspects that MUSIGA was not fully in-charge of the organization and marketing of the Music week considering the fact that the union’s logo was conspicuously missing on most of the promotional materials, yet there was no information whatsoever about whom the partners were and who did what in the entire planning and event organisation.
Clearly, it appears the regional chairmen have an axe to grind with their National President, for scarcely had Israel rounded up than Isaac Damoah, the Upper West Regional Chairman of MUSIGA, also recounted a similar tale of neglect by the National office during the Ghana Music Week celebration.
According to Mr Damoah, the MUSIGA President asked him to bring his members and cultural dancers from the Upper West Accra and he did just that, adding that that is the only piece of information he had as far as the GMW was concerned.
“I have no idea of the sponsorship of the program…i’m aware there were various sponsors but i don’t have any clue on how much was raised…When we came to Accra, all of us the regional executives came together that we wanted to know about the sponsorship, budget and financial issues but we never got the detailed information we asked about”.
Peacefmonline.com investigations also reveals that about seven regions have come together to write a memo expressing their grievances to the National Executive Council (NEC) of MUSIGA, vowing to continue using the right avenues to ensure the correct things are done because they are still executives of the union.