All the state governors invited to the fourth annual lecture organized by Raymond Dokpesi, owner of AIT/Raypower, failed to attend the event in Abuja earlier today.
The governors boycotted Mr. Dokpesi’s event despite the fact that some of them were scheduled to receive performance awards from the controversial businessman.
Among the governors who shunned the occasion were Theodore Orji of Abia state, Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, and Abdul-Fatah Ahmed of Kwara State.
Governor Orji was billed to give the lecture at the event held at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, and organized by the Raymond Dokpesi Center for Media Development.
Our correspondent reported that Mr. Dokpesi delayed the opening of the event till 2:15 p.m., more than two hours behind schedule, because he hoped the governors would show up. But by 2:15, it had dawned on him that the governors were not on their way – and he gave the clearance for the event to start.
Mr. Dokpesi had ordered the deployment of six cameras at the venue of the event, with instructions that the event should run live on both his television and radio stations. “Chief Dokpesi had expected a huge turnout and a big presence of VIPs,” said an employee of AIT. Another source told our correspondent that Mr. Dokpesi “was visibly humiliated by the action of the governors.”
SaharaReporters’ investigations revealed that some of the governors were in Abuja, but decided not to show up at the Dokpesi lecture.
Despite the absence of the governors, Mr. Dokpesi reportedly ordered his stations to still run the events live, hoping that some of the political guests would have a change of heart after seeing the show on TV. Our correspondent reported that the live broadcasts were terminated after a few minutes when the organizers realized that the gimmick would not sway the governors.
In a curious twist, Mr. Dokpesi himself, realizing that the governors and other dignitaries did not show up, also stayed away from his own ceremony. The sparse audience consisted mainly of Abia State indigenes who expected to meet their governor. But they also left unceremoniously when it dawned on them that Mr. Orji would not attend.
Mr. Dokpesi had also planned to use the occasion to launch a book about himself. But with most of his guests keeping away, that money-making scheme fell on its face.