There is a serious tension mounting in the music industry in Ghana over guidelines announced for the upcoming national congress of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) to be held in October this year.
The congress which will elect a president and others to steer the affairs of the union for the next four years has attracted a lot of controversy following the decision by Obuor’s administration to make literacy a condition for eligibility to contest the presidency of MUSIGA.
These criteria have set other members of the union grumbling and have accused Obuor of trying to perpetrate his reign, knowing full well that most of the members of the union are either unlettered or impecunious.
A number of music stakeholders have also condemned Obuor’s administration for asking nominees for the MUSIGA presidency to pay a filing fee of GH¢3,000 and also a nominee for the MUSIGA presidency must be a serving member of an executive body of the union either at the district, regional or national level.
One of the musicians, Gyedu Blay-Ambolley, in a chat said he didn’t have any problem with the GH¢3,000 filing fee for the MUSIGA presidency, however, since most of the members are poor, he would be happy if something was done about it.
He expressed regret that politics has eaten deep into MUSIGA now to the extent that they are asking would-be leaders to pay GH¢3,000 as is the case in the political arena, adding, “I’m not pleased with this at all.”
“I believe they are doing this to scare others from contesting the president who has formed a mafia around him and has failed to appropriately account for an amount of GH¢2 million doled out to the union by the government.
This is a deliberate ploy to deter people from questioning how the GH¢2million budget support was squandered,” Ambolley alleged.
He argued that there are many such people who have contributed to Ghanaian highlife music and don’t deserve to be excluded on account of they not being able to read and write nor having GH¢3,000 to file nominations to contest the presidency of MUSIGA. “If someone is illiterate, it doesn’t mean he/she lacks ideas,” he said.
Amandzeba Nat Brew also said, “I have heard about the filing fees of GH¢3000 and the literacy thing but I think they ought to look at it again.”
He said there should not be any open or secret attempt to bar any member from contesting election to either affirm the current president of the union or to change him for a new face to come.
He conceded that when Obuor took office four years ago, they were all happy but it seems things are not being done right. “There’s no transparency, see, I don’t even know the vision of MUSIGA.”