A trail blazer and media entrepreneur whose voyage into the risky and money guzzling business of the media took the nation by storm in the 90’s, passed on, Monday in Abuja. The founder of Daar Communications owners of Ray Power Radio and African Independent Television (AIT) Dr. Raymond Dokpesi died at age 71. The establishment
A trail blazer and media entrepreneur whose voyage into the risky and money guzzling business of the media took the nation by storm in the 90’s, passed on, Monday in Abuja.
The founder of Daar Communications owners of Ray Power Radio and African Independent Television (AIT) Dr. Raymond Dokpesi died at age 71.
The establishment of Ray Power as the first independent radio station in an era of government ownership and control of the media opened the floodgate for the establishment of several private radio stations in the country.
But the novel idea of running the station for 24 hours, a feat earlier considered impossible made the station the number one choice of radio listeners where celebrated disco DJs churn out good music for the listening pleasure of listeners.
In addition, Dr. Dokpesi also began the ambitious network stations in the country by establishing Ray Power Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri and other cities where listeners wanted to be informed, entertained and educated.
The phenomenal success of Ray Power and its network stations propelled Dr. Dokpesi to venture into the establishment of Africa Independent Television, (AIT) years later. He also tried to make it a 24-hour station, but this was hampered, as a result of logistics issues particularly, energy.
But Ray Power and AIT became a veritable ground for discovering and training media talents and for several years won media awards.
Dr. Dokpesi took his media organisation to the capital market but the exercise was not largely successful even though its still a public company.
At a stage the station had huge bills to pay which it could not and was considering shutting down. Nigerians would have none of this, they began what today looks like the first crowd-fund and raised a substantial amount of money to take care of the bills.
His death, even at 71 took a lot of Nigerians by surprise as he was physically present at the Presidential Election Petitions Court in Abuja some weeks ago.
But Mr. Tony Akiotu ,the Group Managing Director of DAAR Communications, was more forthcoming with information on the possible cause of death of the media icon.
According to him, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of DAAR Communications, died on Monday after a fall while using a treadmill machine. There was no one to readily assist him and he died on his way to the hospital. Mr Akiotu explained that the media mogul was sick for some weeks before the fall that claimed his life adding that Dr Dokpesi was using the machine to exercise before the tragic event happened.
The statement, issued on Monday stated that Dr Dokpesi was recovering from an undisclosed illness and was asked by his Doctors to do some routine exercises as part of his full recovery theraphy.
“The board and management of DAAR Communications PLC wishes to inform the general public of the death of our founder, High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, of, which the sad event occurred today 29th May 2023.
“He had been ill in the last few weeks but was on his way to full recovery. He had a fall off his treadmill during a routine gym exercise.
“Further announcement as regards the burial arrangement will be made by the family,” the statement reads.
Dr. Dokpesi, an Engineer by profession retired as Director, Department of Marine Services at the Federal Ministry of Transport. He was a frontline member of the PDP and a close Associate and confidant of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The media icon who at some time tried to be the President of the country was always at the forefront projecting his party’s (the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP))and its presidential candidates.
Among the early callers at his residence to commiserate with the family was former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was visibly shaken and described Dr. Dokpesi in kind words.