President Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, have condoled the family of Raymond Dokpesi over the death of the founder of DAAR Communications.
Dokpesi, who was a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, died at the age of 71 in Abuja on Monday afternoon.
Raymond Dokpesi (JNR) announced the passing of his father in a statement on Monday.
“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 29, 2023.
“High Chief Dokpesi was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him,” he said.
Reacting to the incident, President Tinubu described Dokpesi’s death as a “blow” to the media industry”, adding that the media mogul’s investment was an inspiration to many people.
“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,” the president was quoted in a statement by Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, a media aide.
Speaking at the 14th commencement of the American University of Nigeria, Atiku said he was shocked when he received the news of the death of the media mogul.
“Oh my God! I am in a state of shock. I am in Adamawa, scheduled to return midweek before I received this shattering piece of news.
“You shouldn’t have left us on a date like this, Ezomo. But what can we do? As we say in Islam, from God, we came and to Him, we return.
“My everlasting and deepest condolences to his family, associates and admirers. May God forgive his sins and grant him paradise,” Atiku was quoted in a statement by Tunde Olusunle, his media aide.
Dokpesi was an ally of the former vice president. He played a great role in the presidential campaign activities of Atiku.
Also, the People’s Democratic Party has described Dokpesi’s death as a “colossal national loss and a big blow to the party’s family”.
In a statement issued by Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, the opposition party said it was “devastated” by the death of the media guru who, as a member of its board of trustees (BoT) of the party, was a “leading light”.
“He was a detribalised Nigerian, who put the interest and well-being of our nation above every other consideration and made numerous positive landmarks in our national political, economic and social landscapes,” the PDP said.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has also mourned the passage of Dokpesi, describing the death as a colossal loss to Nigeria.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in a condolence statement issued on Monday by his Media Adviser, Gboyega Akosile, sympathized with the entire management and staff of African Independent Television and Raypower FM as well as friends and associates of the deceased.
The Governor 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, Ray Power FM.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I mourn the passing of a 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.”
A former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, on Twitter, expressed shock at the news of the death of the media icon.
“I received the shocking news of the demise of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. He was a detribalised Nigerian and a patriot who has made tremendous contributions to the struggle, restoration and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.
“He raised the bar in professional broadcasting and was a champion of press freedom. He fought many political battles in the pursuit of justice and freedom. Dokpesi was an institution and his life an inspiration. Life is transient. May his soul rest in Peace. Amin,” he said.
Media mogul, Dele Momodu, also shared a condolence message on his Instagram page mourning the death of Dokpesi.
“This is too sad to bear. Our media IROKO is gone… Good night High Chief Dr Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi. May your great soul Rest In Peace,” he said.
Nigerian politician, Ben Murray-Bruce, mourning the media icon on his Twitter page said, “Chief Dokpesi left an indelible mark on the world of media and broadcasting.
“It is with a profound sense of sorrow that I learned of the passing of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a monumental figure whose influence and contribution to society will never be forgotten.
“Chief Dokpesi left an indelible mark on the world of media and broadcasting, instilling a standard of excellence and professionalism that remains unparalleled. His tireless efforts to foster unity and promote progress will always be remembered and appreciated.
“While we mourn this immense loss, we also celebrate a life of purpose and impact. My deepest condolences to the Dokpesi family — our thoughts and prayers are with you during this incredibly difficult time.
“We hope that you find solace in the knowledge that Chief Dokpesi’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
Nigerian singer, Eedris Abdulkareem, on his Instagram page prayed that God comfort the family and that the soul of Dokpesi rest in peace.
“My condolences to the family of Chief Raymond Dokpesi. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.
“I am thinking of you and your family and sending caring thoughts your way, may the lord rest the soul of chief and grant him eternal rest Amen,” he said.
A former governor of Delta state, James Ibori, has also expressed sadness over the death of Dokpesi.
Ibori’s condolence is conveyed in a statement he personally signed on Monday.
Ibori, who said he received the news of Dokpesi’s death with shock, described his passage as a monumental loss to the nation, the media industry and the PDP family.
According to him, as one of the pioneers of Nigeria’s media industry, Dokpesi’s vision, doggedness and diligence transformed and inspired a generation of media entrepreneurs in the country.
He said, as a loyal and dependable member of the PDP family, Dokpesi, who served as the Deputy Director-General Technical and systems of PDP Presidential Campaign Council for the February 25, 2023 presidential election, contributed immensely to the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
Ibori prayed the Almighty God to be with the deceased’s family, associates and staff and grant them the fortitude to bear what he described as a huge and irreparable loss.
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has mourned the death of the founder and Chairman Emeritus, DAAR Communications, Raymond Alegho Dokpesi.
Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, described the death of the Edo State born media tycoon as a great shock.
He noted that the Dokpesi, who established the first thriving private television and radio stations – African Independent Television and Raypower – was renowned for his passion for portraying the African continent via his media outfits.
Abiodun, who expressed his condolences to the immediate family of the deceased, said Dokpesi will be sorely missed, particularly in the field of politics.
He, however, prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and God to grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.