As Nigeria’s first private radio station, Ray Power, marks its 25th anniversary, foremost Professor of Mass Communication, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, has advised the media to brace for developmental journalism by going deeper into the grassroots. He spoke at the weekend as the radio station played host to some prominent Nigerians including media personalities.
The University of Lagos don, who is also a board member of Daar Communications Plc, said it was time journalists did less of political reporting by tilting towards reportage that will enhance peace and development.
While commending the sudden proliferation of radio stations in the country, he, however, lamented that the increase in number had failed to produce commensurate pluralism in content. He advised radio station owners to look into the matter, saying, however, that it should be done with caution so as not to breach regulatory rules.
The erudite professor also called on media managers to invest in training of their workers and equipment. According to him, the deregulation policy came in 1992 and in 1993 Ray Power was already there and still making waves at the top despite several radio stations across the country. Giving an insight into how the radio station came on board, wife of the founder, Mrs. Moji Dokpesi, said her brother, Mr. Kenny Ogungbe, who just returned from the United States then, sold the idea to her, saying everything started in her sitting room in Victoria Island, Lagos. She described her husband, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, as a visionary and a bulldozer, saying nobody gave them a chance.
According to her: “When something is tough, that is when you see Dokpesi in action. They went to the US and I was coordinating the finances. We want to salute his courage. So many hurdles.
There were some loyal staff too, who were sleeping in my house.” She also commended General Jeremiah Useni and Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd) for using their offices then to help in tackling some difficulties, which the station faced at inception.
While proposing the toast at the event, which was fully hosted by Senator Florence Ita Giwa, the President, Guild of Editors/Managing Director, New Telegraph, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, described Ray Power as a trail blazer. She prayed that the next 25 years would be better than the past.