President Tinubu, Atiku, Lawan, others mourn dead media mogul, Dokpesi 


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar and other prominent leaders have 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.

“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. 

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 DAAR Communications chairman passed away on Monday, according to a statement by his son, Raymond Dokpesi Jr.

The news of senior Dokpesi’s demise was met with condolence messages from several individuals, including Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, described the death of the founder of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM as a great loss to the Nigerian polity and media industry in the light of his immense contributions to politics and the evolution of private media in Nigeria and Africa.

The Senate President said it is to Dokpesi’s credit that he established the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa’s first private satellite television, and first privately owned radio station in Nigeria.

“I commiserate with the immediate family of Dr Raymond Dokpesi, staff of AIT/Ray power FM radio and the media industry at large on this great loss.

“They should all be consoled that Dr Dokpesi made his mark in business, politics and the media industry and lived a fulfilled life,” Lawan said.

He prayed to God to grant him eternal rest and comfort his loved ones.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a condolence statement issued on Monday by his Media Adviser, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the late Dokpesi would be remembered for breaking the monopoly of government-owned broadcasting in Nigeria with the establishment of the first private radio station, Raypower FM.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I mourn the passage of businessman and media guru, who contributed his quota to the economy of Lagos State by providing job opportunities for many young Lagos residents in the media sector.

“High Chief Raymond Dokpesi was a forerunner in private broadcasting in Nigeria. He established the first privately owned television and radio in Nigeria. His bold decision to break the government monopoly in the broadcasting sector gave birth to hundreds of privately owned television and radio stations in Nigeria.

“He was also an active participant in Nigeria politics during the present Fourth Republic and served his party and Nigeria in different capacities. He was a philanthropist who dedicated his life to the service of his community, state, and country.

“I pray for the repose of the soul of the late Dr. Dokpesi and pray that God grants the media industry and the deceased family, friends and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Also mourning the founder of African Independent Television (AIT) is the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

IGP Baba described Dokpesi’s death as a monumental loss to Nigeria, the media community, and the African continent at large.

The IGP, therefore, prayed for the repose of his soul and God’s guidance on the family members, staff of DAAR Communications, and friends of Dokpesi.

In a similar vein, the Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Prof. Abubakar O. Sulaiman, stated that the deceased was a prominent figure in the media industry whose contributions had left a lasting impact.

“My heartfelt condolences to the Dokpesi family and the entire staff of AIT and Raypower FM. His departure is a significant loss for the entire media landscape,” Sulaiman said.

“He was a pioneer and a visionary who consistently pushed the boundaries of journalism and entertainment.

“His unwavering dedication to excellence and innovation has undoubtedly shaped the media industry as we know it today.”

He asked God to grant the deceased eternal rest and his loved ones the fortitude to bear his loss.