•Senate asks FG to immortalise him
By Henry Umoru
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria Press Organisation, NPO, Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, the Senate and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State have mourned Raymond Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communications Plc., operators of Africa Independent Television, AIT/RayPower.
Dokpesi died on Monday, after an illness.
He was a bridge builder —Jonathan
Jonathan, in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, expressed sadness over the passing of Dokpesi, stating that the country has lost a true patriot and fair-minded nation-builder.
In a condolence message to the Dokpesi family and DAAR Communications, Jonathan described him as a successful entrepreneur, media mogul and philanthropist, who took the art of giving to a new level and made significant contributions to human progress.
He said: “As a patriot and politician, he exemplified the virtues of loyalty, justice and service. A team player and bridge builder, Dokpesi played the kind of politics that promoted friendship, ethnic cohesion and national unity.
“Dokpesi will be remembered for his works of charity, devotion to his faith and inspiring leadership, especially serving as a trailblazer who pioneered private broadcasting and played a major role in advancing media freedom in Nigeria.”
Great pioneer is gone —NPO/NPAN
On its part, Nigeria Press Organisation, NPO/Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, expressed shock on the death of Dokpesi, noting that a great pioneer was gone.
In a statement by its President, Kabiru Yusuf, and Executive Secretary, Feyi Smith, NPAN stated: “It was with great shock that we learned on May 29, of the passage of Dokpesi. He was 71.
“Dokpesi, a trained Marine Engineer and politician, pioneered private radio and television broadcasting in the country with the establishment in 1994, of Ray Power, an Fm radio station and the AIT, two years later.
“A seasoned politician, Chief Dokpesi, held various strategic positions in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and acquitted himself.
“Very unassuming and a philanthropist, he touched several lives, while also using the instrumentality of his media platform to give voice to the voiceless.
“While we commiserate with members of the media fraternity, and his immediate and political families, on this irreparable loss, we are consoled by the fact that he left behind an enduring legacy of hard work and selflessness.
“We encourage our youth to emulate his industry, modesty and passion for the people.
The nation has lost a great pioneer, a patriot, an advocate of good governance /a free press and the right of people to know.”
Senate asks FG to immortalise him
Meanwhile, the Senate has asked the Federal Government to immortalise Dokpesi.
The senate observed a one-minute silence in honour of the late Dokpesi and resolved to send a delegation to pay a condolence visit to the family.
Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to a motion by Senator Francis Alimikhena.
He eulogised late Dokpesi.
Also, Senators Matthew Urhoghide, Clifford Ordia, George Sekibo, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Biodun Olujimi, Smart Adeyemi, and Ovie Omo-Agege, APC, Delta Central who presided over plenary took turns to pour encomiums on the late Dokpesi.
In his remarks, Abaribe described him as a trailblazer, who pioneered private radio and television stations in the country, adding: “For that, we must at all times always remember the late Dokpesi as the man that stood forward for Nigeria and gave us one of the key ingredients of democracy which is freedom of information.”
Senator Adeyemi said “AIT, irrespective of how you look at it, is a balancing force in the media.
“He was a man this country will miss greatly. Dokpesi contributed in no small measure to the growth of broadcast journalism in Nigeria. The departure of Dokpesi is a great loss to the media.”
Obaseki mourns his passing
This came as Governor Obaseki, has mourned the passing of Dokpesi, describing him as the “pioneer of private broadcast media in Nigeria”
In a statement, the governor said 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.
“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 Dokpesi established the 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 was a formidable chieftain of the 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.”