Tinubu, Atiku, Obaseki, PDP, Others Mourn Dokpesi
Tributes have continued to pour in for Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and founder of DAAR Communications Plc, who died in Abuja on Monday.
The family of Dokpesi confirmed the death of the media guru in a statement signed by his Son, Raymond Dokpesi (JNR).
In his reaction, President Bola Tinubu Tinubu’s in a condolence message contained in a statement issued by his media officer, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz said Dokpesi would be sorely missed.
The president described the death of the media mogul as a huge loss to the Nigerian media industry and the country.
He said, “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.
“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.
Also, former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has also mourned Dokpesi’s passing.
Atiku, in a statement signed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, noted that the late Dokpesi was a trailblazer who reshaped the Nigerian business landscape in every sphere of his endeavour.
According to the statement, “Ezemo, as we fondly called him, was an enigmatic business personality, a newsmaker in life and, sadly, even in death.”
Atiku’s immediate reaction to the news of Dokpesi’s death is an expression of grief and shock, saying: “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!”
According to the statement, Dokpesi entered the corporate landscape at a relatively young age, proving the merit of his creativity with distinction.
The former Vice President said that he enjoyed a close relationship with the late Dokpesi, and the news of his death came to him as a rude shock.
“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,” Atiku said.
He prayed for his immediate family to have the fortitude to bear the loss of their patriarch. He also expressed his deepest condolences to the management and staff of AIT, the PDP, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, and the people and government of Edo State over the loss a patriot.
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, also mourned the passing of Dokpesi, describing him as the “pioneer of private broadcast media in Nigeria.”
In a statement, the governor said Chief Dopkesi was an illustrious son of Edo State who recorded indelible achievements that marked him out as one of Nigeria’s most impactful media executives.
According to him, “The Ezomo of Weppa-Wanno, Chief Dokpesi was an outstanding businessman and, indeed, a media mogul who took the bold step to venture into private broadcasting and broke the ground for many who came after him.
“He was a pacesetter and brave in his quest to build Africa’s most enterprising, private broadcasting brand.
“Chief Dokpesi was a man of many parts. From his early academic exploits as a scholar in Poland, he returned to Nigeria to establish himself as an expert in the shipping business. He set up Nigeria’s first shipping line before venturing into broadcasting upon the deregulation of the media business in the country.”
The governor said Chief Dokpesi established the Africa Independent Television (AIT), which recorded many firsts in the broadcasting business, becoming Nigeria’s first satellite television, adding “He expanded the enterprise to North America and Europe, promoting Nigeria’s outstanding entrepreneurial flair.”
He continued, “He was a formidable chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), bringing his experience and expertise to bear in handling party affairs.
“A worthy ambassador of the Edo State, Chief Dopkesi will be remembered for his knack for excellence and unwavering spirit of enterprise.
“I commiserate with the Dokpesi family, the good people of Weppa-Wanno, the Board and management of Daar Communications as well as friends and associates and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Meanwhile, Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it was devastated by the death of one of its leading lights, member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee (NEC), media mogul, statesman and patriarch of the Dokpesi family, High Chief Raymond Aleogho Anthony Dokpesi.
National publicity secretary of PDP, Hon Debo Ologunagba said Dokpesi was an exceptionally committed and courageous nationalist, an insightful and loyal party man, a 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.”
PDP added that the late media mogul was a detribalised Nigerian, who put the interest and wellbeing of the 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.
“The PDP condoles with the Dokpesi family, the Daar Communication Group, the government and people of Edo State, the Weppa-Wanno Kingdom, and the Edo PDP family, and prays to the Almighty God to grant us all the fortitude to bear this devastating loss and to High Chief Dokpesi, eternal rest in His bosom.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has described the late Dokpesi as a patriotic Nigerian who would be sorely missed.
Gbajbiamila, who expressed sadness over Dokpesi’s death, said he received the news of the media entrepreneur with rude shock, saying he has left a big vacuum in the Nigerian media industry as the pioneer of private radio stations in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the special adviser on media and publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker recalled how Dokpesi combined his media entrepreneurship with politics, which he said provided the late owner of AIT/Raypower FM the opportunity to appreciate leadership in the country.
According to the statement, Gbajabiamila sent his heartfelt condolences to the AIT/Raypower family, people and government of Edo State, especially the people of Weppa-Wanno Kingdom, where Chief Dokpesi held the traditional title of Ezomo.