May 30, 2023

Lawan, Sanwo-Olu, others mourn media giant Dokpesi

Raymond Dokpesi to be buried on June 22

Chief Raymond Dokpesi

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Lagos state governor Babaijide Sanwo-Olu and other eminent Nigerians in the public and private sectors have continued to pour condolence messages over the death of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of DAAR Communications.

Dokpesi, the founder of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) died on Monday at the age of 71.

Mourning the media mogul, Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, described the death as a great loss to the Nigerian polity and media industry in the light of his enormous contributions to politics and the evolution of private media in Nigeria and Africa.

“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, in his condolence message, foremost senior lawyer Mike Ozekhome said the PDP chieftain lived a noble life to serve God and humanity.

Ozekhome said, “Dokpesi lived a life of nobility; a life wholly dedicated to the service of God and humanity. He impacted the most vulnerable through his many philanthropic works. In the maritime world, he stood tall and resplendent, earning a Ph.D in Maritime Engineering. 

“He was to become the nullus secondus of the media world where he became a Czar, the Ted Turner of African broadcasting.”

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.”