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Daar Communications Chairman, Raymond Dokpesi Laid to Rest in Edo



By Ken Ehimen

After weeks of activities and tributes to Chairman Emeritus and Founder of DAAR Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower FM, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi has been laid to rest at his residence in Agenebode, Estako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

He grand burial was witnessed by family members, close associates, sympathisers and residents of Agenebode who all came to pay their last respects to the late media mogul.

The governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke and deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, formal Governor Edo State, Comrd. Adam Oshohmole, former Governor Delta State, Ifeanyi Okiwa, Publisher Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Prof. Ben Obi, Ndidi Elumelu, Francis Alimikhena, Senator Ben Obi, were among prominent people that attended the burial.

The funeral mass was held at the open field of St. Peters Secondary School Agenebode, while the interment was took place at his residence.

In his sermon, the Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev Gabriel Dunia described late Dokpesi as humility personified. Dunia said Dokpesi was also giving to charity in his lifetime.

“As the saying goes, charity covers a multitude of sin. He represented charity, he repented and came back to represent with his creator.

“We must return to God, we must use this occasion whoever we are to return to God. We must continue his charity work because the dead can no longer do charity because he said that even in his death, he will continue to do charity through his media.”

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, said the late Dokpesi was a fearless politician who was not afraid to “speak truth to power.

Dokpesi, a Marine Engineer, established Raypower, the first private radio station in Nigeria, in 1994, and AIT in 1996. He would have been 72 years old in October. Dokpesi died on May 29, at the age of 71.

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Glamour, Glitz As Esama of Benin, Gabriel Igbinedion Celebrates 89th Birthday




By Eric Elezuo                    Photos: Ken Ehimen

The Esama of Benin an pioneer of the Okada Dynasty, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion CFR, CON, KSJI, has always been a censure of many eyes wherever the journey of life takes him, and his 89th birthday celebration was another opportunity for another razzmatazz.

carnival as people gather from all parts of the world to celebrate the great Esama of Benin Kingdom.

A philanthropist of no mean repute, business mogul, and politician, Chief Igbinedion left no stone unturned to ensure that this year’s celebration tagged “His Grace is sufficient for me”, sustains the carnival-like identity it has always been known for, while reflecting testimonies of his numerous achievements in life.

With wholesome lineup of activities, the birthday celebrations held in various locations including his Benin palatial home and the prestigious Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, along Sapele Road, where the thanksgiving mass was held.

The celebrant Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, accompanied by his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion, his son and former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion his siblings among other dignitaries arrived the Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church, to a warm reception by the members of Archangel Gabriel Catholic Church community with band parade.

The Mass was celebrated by the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, Most Rev Dr Augustine Akubueze, represented by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie.

Because of it’s a unique nature, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Jerome Idegbe took time to introduce the essence of the day, after which he invited all to be part of the thanksgiving Mass.

Speaking during the homily titled Uncommon Path to Peace, the Parish Priest, St Francis Catholic Church, Benin City, Rev Fr Dr Andrew Obiyan, paid glowing tribute to the Esama, with emphasis on how he built peace and empowered his community.

According to Fr Obiyan, Chief Igbinedion was a man with intimidating kind heart, whose greatness is not in the riches and wealth he has acquired, but in his unrelenting act of generosity.

Dignitaries that attended the Mass were the Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu, Senator Matthew Uroide, High Commissioners and Representatives of High Commissions so from over 15 countries including, Jamaica, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, bostwana, Cameroon among others.

There was also a large turnout of traditional rulers within and outside of Nigeria led by the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who was represented by over 20 notable traditional rulers from the south west of Nigeria.

Also the traditional rulers and title holders from the Benin Kingdom were fully represented, led by the highly revered Ilawure of Usen Kingdom, HRM Oluide II and a host of Benin Chiefs and traditional title holders.

The highpoint of the event was the thanksgiving procession by Chief Igbinedion and his immediate family members, amid soulful renditions from the Archangel Gabriel Parish choir.

Dwelling further on the theme of the day, “His Grace is sufficient for me”, the Chancellor, Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Rev Fr Dr Mike Oyanoafoh also extolled God’s goodness on the celebrant just as the Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, Very Rev Fr Dr Augustine Ehigie led in rendering a happy birthday song.

Responding on behalf of the House of Igbinedion, a former Governor of Edo State and son of the celebrant, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, expressed joy at the love showered on their patriarch on his birthday.

He prayed for journey mercies for all those who have come to celebrate their father

Speaking on behalf of some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion the representative of the Mauritanian High Commission in Nigeria, Mrs Stella Arhewo, and the APC governorship candidate in next year’s Edo State governorship election Hon. E.J Agbonayiwa described the celebrant as a Man who has added value to the lives of many.

Guests at the birthday thanksgiving Mass were later hosted to a lavish reception at tastefully decorated country home of the Esama of Benin Kingdom where music was supplied by a host of upcoming artists, live band, cultural troupes among others.

The colorful event was rounded off with the cutting of the 89th birthday cake of the Esama of Benin Kingdom His Excellency Chief Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion , done his behalf by his son, Lucky Igbinedion, his siblings and selected dignitaries.

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Sights and Sounds As Esther Ajayi’s Love of Christ Celebrates 16th Anniversary




By Eric Elezuo

The Love of Christ Generation Church (C&S) located in the highbrow Victoria Island,  was a beehive of activities penultimate Sunday as members led by their leader, Reverend Esther Abimbola Ajayi, in company of well wishers and the general public, trooped out enmasse to celebrate the church’s 16th year anniversary.

Hosted by a wholesome colour of white, faith adherents and special invitees had a swell time giving God glory for 16 unbroken Yeats of His goodness, provision and protection.

From far and wide, and all walks of life, dignitaries trooped in, in solidarity with the woman popularly called Iya Adura, to sing, worship, praise and dance before the Almighty, who made all things perfect for the church.

Among notable personalities that graced the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, Sir Shina Peters and a host other very important persons.

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Nigerian, African Cultures, Heritage Take Centrestage at The Drum Festival in Canada




Deep rooted and rich Nigerian and African culture were all on display as the city of Mississauga in Ontario, Canada came alive as the host of the maiden edition of The Drum Festival (Ayan-Agalu) with the theme “Rejigging Yoruba Cultural Heritage: As Catalyst for National and International Unity, Progress and Development.

The cultural fiesta, which was organized by The Drum Online Media Incorporation, was well packaged and attended by the crème de la crème eminent personalities, such as government functionaries, royal fathers, political and religious leaders, cultural enthusiasts, socialites among others, from The North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, especially from Nigeria.

The maiden edition festival was celebrated uniquely with the massive turnout of tourists, from within Canada and abroad, visitors, fun seekers, journalists, and residents.

Various dance groups from Brazil, Iran, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria communities in Canada and drummers played to the admiration of culture enthusiasts. People were were fed with different kinds of local and continental foods.

In his welcome address, Publisher of the Drum Online Media Incorporation and convener of the Drum Festival (Ayan-Agalu) Festival, Prince Segun Akanni, said the prestigious event could not have come up as a better time and moment given the avalanche of social, economic, political and religious challenges plaguing Africa as a continent.

In his words “ There can be no gainsaying that the festival’s theme “Rejigging Yoruba Cultural Heritage as Catalyst for National and International Unity, Progress and Development- The Ayan-Agalu Example” is not only apt but timely given the legion of cultural erosion and neglect of core societal values that has pervaded most African countries, especially among the Yorubas’ of South West in Nigeria.”

Celebrating culture through the drums reinforces our collective desire and zeal to rejuvenate our moribund cultural heritages.

My involvement in the preservation, restoration, promotion of Africa’s and Yoruba’s Cultural Heritage and values dates back to over twenty years, an exploit which has taken me to over thirty countries of the world. Akanni said.

The occasion was also used to honour prominent Nigerians and Canadians, who have shown support for Nigeria’s culture and heritage.

Some of the awardees include Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke, Executive Governor, Osun State; Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, The Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, post-humous award to late Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, Founder, DAAR Communication.

Others are Gerry Weiner, former Canadian Immigration Minister and Secretary of State of Canada, Adebo Edward Ogundoyin, Speaker, Oyo State House Of Assembly, Dele Momodu, Publisher, Ovation International Magazine, Musiliu Akinsanya Oluomo (MC), Chairman, Lagos State Parks and Garages, Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism. Dr. Oludare Akande, Chairman, Bellagio Air and founder, American Polytechnic of Nigeria, Lawal Quadri Obawole. Baada of Otta, Awori Kingdom, Ogun State and Senior United States of America’ s military officers.

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau commended Prince Segun Akanni for his hard work in organizing the festival and commitment for cultural exchange. He explained that Canada is truly a multicultural nation, made stronger and more resilient by diversity.

The Yoruba race is blessed with rich and prestigious tradition. We must celebrate and showcase these cultural festivals to the world to appreciate the diversity of our unique heritage. It is an honour to celebrate this festival and pay homage to the drumming prowess and legacy of Ayangulu.

One of the daughters of the convener, Olajire Grace Akanni, told the gathering that drums should be played to children because it helps them reduce stress and makes them smarter. Drumming is physically intense for kids but it helps burn calories in 30 minutes of play and dancing to its rhythm. Also When kids learn how to play the drum, it helps them not to be bored and it is very easy to learn.

Some of the dignitaries that graced the occasion includes the representative of the Nigeria High Commissioner/Ambassador, His Excellency Adeyinka Asekun; Mr. David Toyin Apinran, The Olota of Otta Awori, Ogun State, Oba (Prof) Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlegen; Oloba Of Oba Ile, Osun State and Deputy State Chairman of Osun State Council of Obas, His Royal Majesty Oba (Dr) Adekunle Asamu Oyeyemi.

Others are Alagbara of Agbara, Ogun State, HRM Oba (Bar) Lukman Jayeola Agunbiade; Alakola of Akola Ijesa kingdom, Osun state, HRM Oba (Dr) Festus Adekunle Adeyemi; The Olojodu Of Ojoduland, Lagos State, HRM Oba (Dr) Samuel Olusegun Shobowale Benson; His Royal Majesty Oba Alagbe Adio Moroof Elegushi of Egushi Otta Awori Kingdom and His Royal Majesty, Oba Olanrewaju Ige, Alaaye of Ijesa land, Osun State, Councillor Ayo Owodunni, among others.


The festival offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the richness, beauty and diversity of African and Nigerian culture, and highlighted many contributions that Canadians of African descent have made, and continue to make , to our country in all fields of endeavour” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Ontario is proud to be home to a vibrant African and Nigerian population. This festival is an opportunity for Ontarians to celebrate the many contributions these communities have made to the cultural and economic fabric of our province. I thank The Drum Online for organising this event, and for everything you do to keep African communities connected and informed” – Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario (Premier Ministre de Ontario)

I am very pleased with your initiative to convene the inaugural Drum Festival aimed at promoting the prestigious culture of the Yorubas from Southern part of Nigeria. Cultural diplomacy is a cardinal aspect of Nigeria’s foreign policy and a very key area of focus of the Nigeria High Commission In Ottawa. To this end, we are therefore glad to confirm our support for this event – HE Adeyinka Asekun, Nigeria High Commissioner to Canada

I am indeed proud of the organizer and his team for this noble and legendary initiative aimed at revamping our indigenous tradition and culture from a state of near oblivion to a realm of global pedestal of fame, relevance, and glory – Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State 

The Drum Festival has its root in the kingdom of Ife, South Western Nigeria and is a symbolic presentation of our culture, particularly in relation to our social live, religion, monarchy and other core aspects of our existence. I hereby congratulate my son, who is the convener of this initiative, Prince Segun Akanni and his team for their efforts in celebrating the prestigious Yoruba and indeed African culture – Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife

The Yoruba race is undoubtedly one of the most endowed races replete with rich and prestigious tradition and culture in the world today – The Mayor Of Brampton, Patrick Brown

I congratulate and felicitate with you for celebrating African, especially Yoruba culture and tradition, by organising the maiden The Drum Festival (Ayan-Agulu Festival) in Ontario, Canada – Aare Dele Momodu, Chairman Ovation Media Group

As a passionate Nigerian Canadian and a passionate advocate for the preservation and promotion of our cultural heritage. I commend the organiser, The Drum Online Media, for their unwavering commitment to the recognition and promotion of Africa and Nigeria’s cultural heritage on both national and global platforms – Ayo Owodunmi, Kitchener City Councillor, Ward 5

More Felicitaions

Oba (Prof) Adekunle Adeogun Okunoye, Eburu of Iba, Osun State and guest speaker in his paper presentation on the theme of the festival said “reinventing the art of drumming may mean the revival of the profession in Yoruba society, the enhancement of the dignity of the practitioners, and the documentation of the drumming tradition in films for future scholarly studies.

The Olota of Otta, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Prof Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlege, commended the organizer for showcasing Africa’s cultural products. I really admired how you have organized yourself, your resilience, and your untiring efforts to deliver this noble project.

Former Canadian Minister of Immigration and Secretary of State of Canada, Hon. Gerry Weiner said he hopes this cultural convergence would further reinforce and solidify the cultural relationship between Nigeria and Canada while also ensuring that both countries maintain and sustain the solidarity that the festival has the potential of establishing.

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