I am a very sad man as I write this.I am completely devastated by the ugly news of the rather sudden death of my elder brother, friend, kinsman,soul mate and confidant,HIGH CHIEF RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI. Dokpesi had called me on WHATSAPP at about 1.30am THIS MORNING (29th May, 2023 ).
He called me to discuss friendship, brotherhood and take advice on sundry legal matters. He exuded his usual happiness, vibrancy, and gusto, notwithstanding that he has had some health challenges for some time. His voice was quite rich, steady and filled with laughter, as we taunted and bantered with each other, as we were want to do whenever we encountered each other.
We exchanged chats and spoke up to about 1.50am this morning. So when Chief Tony Akiotu ( GMD, DAAR Communication) and Senator Francis Alimhikhena called me to break the sad news of his death from the very hospital where he was said to have been rushed to, I could not believe my ears. It took another communication from his first son, Raymond Dokpesi,Jnr to melt my lethargic world of disbelief. Was the Ezomo of Weppa Wanno Kingdom's call to me a FAREWELL from him? Did he have the premonition of his imminent death? I do not know. Gosh!!! One thing is clear to me as I grieve: Weppa- Wanno, Etsako, Afenmailand, Edo State, Nigeria, Africa, the black race, and indeed the whole world, has lost an unforgettable and uncommon shining star and gem.
At a mere 71, 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.
Dokpesi indeed pioneered and blazed private independent broadcasting of television and radio in Nigeria and Africa, establishing Raypower and the African Independent Television ( AIT ). It was unheard of that a single individual could challenge and break decades of government's dominance and monopoly of information through radio and television. But,the Araba of Oshoroland and Oghierumhoa of Weppa Wanno Kingdom did just that.
In politics, Dokpesi was a master strategist and iconic tactician. His name vibrated and revibrated across Nigeria for decades in Nigeria's political firmament. He epitomized the soul and spirit of DAAR.Not many Nigerians know that DAAR is actually a reversed acronym of his name- RAYMOND ALEOGHO AYAOGHENA DOKPESI ( RAAD ).
The Ezomo came. He saw. He conquered. He ran a good race. He finished well.
May God grant this legend and collosus eternal repose of his great soul until we meet to part no more. tseee, Itseee lagi Itseee ????.