From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Eminent Nigerians from all walks of life gathered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, for an evening of tribute in honour of the late Chairman Emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi.
In attendance were former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his wife, Titi; presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 General Election, Mr Peter Obi; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Bassey Eno.
Also in attendance were former Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki; former Senate President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees Chairman, Senator Adolphus Wabara; former governors James Ibori, Udom Emmanuel, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Sir Celestine Omehia, Boni Haruna and Liyel Imoke.
There were also in attendance, PDP Stalwart, Chief Olabode George; Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; former PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi; former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi, former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Professor Jerry Gana, amongst others.
In his tribute, former military president, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, in a recorded message, hailed Dokpesi for being a completely detribalised Nigerian who was at home anywhere he visited in the country.
Also speaking, former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said it was a pity the nation has lost a man who has been very active in setting up DAAR Communications Plc, owners of AIT and Raypower 100.5FM.
He recalled that while setting up AIT, Dokpesi, through the former Chief of General Staff, the late Vice Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe, made several visits to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to seek for the licence to establish the outfit.
“The high chief has played, he has come, he has made his mark and he has gone. Certainly, not only the family, but to the whole world will miss Dokpesi,” Abubakar stated.
On his part, Jonathan said Dokpesi was a good man. He recalled how Dokpesi, despite losing the 2015 presidential election, decided to host him.
Speaking earlier, Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the PDP, said death was inevitable, but believed that Dokpesi had much more to contribute to the development of the country.
“He was not tired. In fact, it seemed that he hid himself off the day-to-day running of some of his businesses in order to devote more time to family service. However, as the Holy Book teaches us, God knows best,” Atiku said.
Obi said he met Dokpesi in 1996 while he was a director in a young bank.
Obi said Dokpesi, who came to him as an an entrepreneur, came to the bank to borrow money and they lend him money because of his mastery of his business.
“All I can say tonight is that may God Almighty grant him eternal rest and grant the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” Obi prayed.