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Opinion

Tributes To Raymond Dokpesi By Cally Ikpe

PDP

Sometime in the mid 1990’s, Mr Kenny ‘Keke’ Ogungbe had introduced me to High Chief Raymond Dokpesi at Ray Power FM Alagbado, Lagos. Kenny had excitedly pointed at the AGENEBODE on my CV, and so began a lasting and rewarding relationship. I had walked into a family fold, an experience I continue to enjoy and cherish to this day. That day also marked my first meeting with Olusesan Ekisola, the then GM of RayPower FM.

In 2009, it was my privilege to invite High Chief Dokpesi to that year’s edition of the Nigeria Music Video Awards NMVA, where he was to be honoured for his contributions to the music/entertainment industry in Nigeria.

The Ezomo graced the occasion, and his presence elevated the event beyond our imagination. Interestingly, that event birthed the peace advocacy project; Road to a Violence-free Nigeria, which I’m still involved with to date. His support is evident in the constant airing of; Violence-free World, on AIT every Saturday.

When he turned 70 in 2022, I was part of the planning committee for his birthday celebrations, and it was indeed a rare privilege and honour. On my birthday on Dec 22, 2022, his birthday wishes to me via telephone was particularly inspiring. At every opportunity he reafirmed his support for the peace advocacy project; Road to a Violence-free Nigeria. Interestingly still, he made out referrals for me to top Nigerians, requesting them to also identify with the project.

My dear High Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, news of your demise struck me like lightening, and I am yet to come to terms with it, even as I see your Kpaduma Hills mansion Asokoro, play host to a multitude of sympathisers who besiege it daily to pay their last respects.

Your last television interview was perhaps with me, where you held nothing back. I had no idea, you were biding me a farewell. My dear High Chief, only God knows best, Rest in peace, Sir.

Sincerely,
Cally Ikpe.

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