President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed sadness over the death of the founder of Daar Communications, owners of African Independence Television (AIT) and Raypower, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Dokpesi died on Monday at an Abuja hospital.
In a statement, Tinubu described the death of the media mogul as a huge loss to the Nigerian media industry and the country.
“The death of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi is a blow to the media industry where he has played pioneering roles in private broadcasting. His pacesetting investment in the industry is an inspiration to many who come after him.
“The history of the evolution of the Nigerian media industry will be incomplete without prominent mention of Dokpesi and his giant footprints on the media landscape.
- Abba Gida-Gida issues executive orders to probe Ganduje
- Buhari’s last moment in power before Daura’s home return
“I express my sincere condolences to the management and staff of DAAR Communications and the family of the late media entrepreneur for this monumental loss,” he said.
A former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, also mourned Dokpesi.
Atiku, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, noted that Dokpesi was a trailblazer who reshaped the Nigerian business landscape in every sphere of his endeavour, saying that he had lost a friend and brother.
The statement quoted Atiku as exclaiming: “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I am in a state of shock! As we say in Islam: from God we came, and to Him we return. I am in prayers and will continue in prayers! My everlasting and deepest condolences to the Raymond Dokpesi family. May God forgive his sins and grant him eternal rest. Ezemo, not on a date like this should you leave us!”
“Ezemo was my friend, brother, counsellor, and associate, all rolled into one. He was honest, detribalised, loyal, and supremely hard working. Once committed to a cause, he will see it to a conclusion.”
Dokpesi’s death was announced yesterday in a statement signed by his son, Raymond Dokpesi (Jnr).
Details about circumstances surrounding his death were not revealed, but the family promised to make further remarks later.
The statement read, “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of High Chief Raymond Aleogho Anthony Dokpesi (Ezomo of Weppa-Wanno Kingdom) who passed away on May 29th, 2023. High Chief Dokpesi was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
“High Chief Dokpesi was also a respected and accomplished businessman, a pioneer in the media industry, and a philanthropist who dedicated his life to the service of his country and his community. His legacy will live on through the impact he made on the lives of many.
“The Dokpesi family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our patriarch. We also ask for privacy during this time as we grieve together as a family.
“The family will release further details on the funeral arrangements in due course. May his soul rest in peace.”
In the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it was devastated by the death of a leading member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee (NEC), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said Dokpesi was an exceptionally committed and courageous nationalist, “an insightful and loyal Partyman; brilliant and resourceful entrepreneur who was steadfast in his selfless contributions towards the unity, stability and development of our great Party and the nation at large.
“As a patriotic Nigerian, High Chief Dokpesi deployed his media empire of Africa Independent Television (AIT) Ray Power FM and Faaji FM to champion the course of national development, promoted greater and affordable access to information across the country, stimulated good governance, enhanced economic growth and development in all critical sectors and opened our nation to international limelight and opportunities.
“He was a detribalized Nigerian, who put the interest and wellbeing of our nation above every other consideration and made numerous positive landmarks in our national political, economic and social landscapes.
“Chief Dokpesi’s death is indeed a colossal national loss and a big blow to the PDP family.
Similarly, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja, in a condolence message, signed by Most Rev. David Ajang, Bishop of Lafia Diocese, for the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, expressed sadness over Dokpesi’s death.
It said Dokpesi and his DAAR Communications’ contributions to the media apostolate of the Catholic Church in Nigeria were enormous and forever appreciated.
Also, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Senator-elec Adams Oshiomhole and Chief Mike Ozekhome yesterday mourned Dokpesi.
Obaseki said Dokpesi was an outstanding businessman and media mogul who took the bold step to venture into private broadcasting and broke the ground for many who came after him.
Oshiomhole said the vacuum created by Dokpesi’s departure would be hard to fill; while Ozekhome described him as a trail blazer in broadcast media.
The minority caucus in the House of Representatives, in a statement by Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu, said it was shocked and grief-stricken by the news of Dokpesi’s death.
The caucus described the deceased as “a highly resourceful, respected and accomplished entrepreneur, very brilliant, humble and insightful touch bearer; a remarkable philanthropist, who remained steadfast towards the unity, stability and development of our nation and served as a source of inspiration to many especially the younger generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.”
By Abbas Jimoh, Baba Martins, Balarabe Alkassim (Abuja) & Usman A. Bello (Benin)