However, the Music Foundation thought the action was wrong. It did not co-operate in the scheme except in helping popular musicians know their rights and how to get it. The Ministry of Information can not deliver on labour employment and productivity matter to popular musicians. But the ministry was undeterred and continued.
In 1979, the government in a rather cynical manner merged popular musicians, with RADIO, ARTISTES, TELEVISION and THEATRE WORKERS UNION, RATAWU, as a body. Musicians protested against the merger. It was seen as the merging of incompatibles and rival institutions together: RADIO AND TELEVISION, even the theatre, exploit the product of the musicians for their services. How can they share the same interest on exploitation and reward? Naturally as everyone should know, employer and employees can not belong in the same union. But government went on with its law. For the popular musicians who by now have come to know their left from right, refused to co-operate with RATAWU. This created a grave riff and mistrust among the musicians who felt once again betrayed by their leadership and the inability of the Association of Nigerian Musicians to mitigate that government decision. Another split was in the offing. But in 1980 the Music Foundation moved its base to Germany.
The vacuum created by the move soon gave rise in 1981, to the advent of the PMAN. PERFORMING MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA. It started rather slowly but reached its height in the late eighties, to early nineties in the reign of Tony Okoroji, the most successful PMAN president. He took PMAN into big business and with the assistance of the Ministry of Information achieved an unparalleled result in the history of musicians Associations in Nigeria. Government donated millions of naira to the PMAN for the organisation of musicians and to equipe itself with, location, materials and equipments to run the association. Land was allocated in ABUJA, to the ASSOCIATION for the building of its secretariat.
At the same period a serious attempt was made with the help of RATAWU to resurrect the defunct NIGERIAN UNION OF MUSICIANS. (NUM). But in the process a fracas, struggle for position and power broke out with in the executive. The infighting that ensued within them led to the breakaway of Aigbe Liberty, who later set up the NIGERIAN UNION OF PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS (N.U.P.M) in Benin , Edo State.
Another association to gain prominence at this time, is the I. K. Dairo, Juju Band Leaders Association (JUBA).
On the other end of the polarity, PMAN continued to make waves. Tony Okoroji in his speeches and propaganda tried to redefine the image of popular musicians and musicianship. And like the Music Foundation, expoused the economic potentials in popular music.
In 1991, he launched the PMAN NIGERIAN MUSIC AWARD. It took the music scene by storm and remains, the nations most glamorous and extravaganza show piece.
Suddenly, it all came to a stop.
Tony Okoroji´s reign had come to an end. Quarrels and disagreements and rumours of the disappearance of millions of naira from the PMAN fund surfaced. The whole advancemet Tony Okoroji had made, began to tumble down. Musicians have again gone round the circle. Back to square zero. Successive leaders since Tony Okoroji had been unable to equal his standard and how much he brought to PMAN. Some call him the Moses of Nigerian popular Musicianship. Even that too has slumbered. There is no Joshua after him. Musicianship in Nigeria is in disarray, appearing to have lost its will. True popular musicians are today not called band boys. Other than that they are no better off conditionally, than the musicians in the fifties. In those days there was nothing. But, people co-operated and persevered to do things together and have them done.
Unfortunately, what is wrong about PMAN is that it is an employers association and incorporated under the business act. In that case PMAN can not effectively serve the interest of the performing side musicians. PMAN is not likely to be admited to sit with the international committee of trade organisations. But if PMAN is sincere and truly desires to serve the masses interest and popular musicianship in Nigeria, it must restructure itself.