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Tinubu, Oborevwori, Gbagi, others mourn Kokori

By Monday Osayande (Asaba), Owede Agbajileke, Terhemba Daka(Abuja), Chido Okafor (Warri) and Seye Olumide (Ibadan)
08 December 2023   |   3:40 am
Former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Frank Kokori, is dead.

Chief Frank Kokori

Former General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Frank Kokori, is dead.

According to Kokori’s Personal Assistant, Atawada Barry, the former fiery NUPENG leader, who had been on life support since Monday, died at exactly 1:30 a.m. yesterday, Thursday, December 7, 2023, on his 80th birthday anniversary.

Barry disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, confirming his death, said: “It’s as if he deliberately waited for his 80th birthday to say goodbye to us.”

Kokori had been on hospice at Mount Horeb Clinic, Warri, over kidney-related issues in the last few months.

He had lamented how NUPENG and the nation had abandoned him to fate.

After Kokori raised the alarm over his declining health, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State visited him on his sick bed and took over his treatment, as well as all the medical bills of the elder statesman.

MEANWHILE, President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, expressed grief over the passing of Kokori. Tinubu also condoled with his family, the civil society, the government and the people of Delta State over the loss.

Describing the former labour leader as a man of conscience, highly principled, courageous and true, the President said: “Kokori was a thoroughbred democrat and activist. He fought for democracy at a great personal cost. He surrendered his liberty to fight for truth and justice. He was the finest among reformers and champions of civil rights in Nigeria.”

SIMILARLY, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kayode Ajulo, has said Nigeria owes a great debt to the late elder statesman.

Describing the elder statesman as a leader, friend and mentor, the learned silk said Kokori was not only a prominent figure in the Nigerian labour movement, but also a relentless advocate for justice and democracy.

ALSO, the Ovu Community, in Ethiope East Local Council of Delta State, was, yesterday, thrown into mourning following the death of Kokori.

Reacting to his death, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori said the pro-democracy activist epitomised the national struggle for the revalidation of the historic June 12, 1993, presidential election under the Abacha regime.

Oborevwori, who spoke via his Chief Press Secretary, Festus Ekpen Ahon, in Asaba, stated that a month ago, Kokori was reported to have fallen ill, crying out for help, which attracted my immediate humanitarian response to save his life.

MORE so, Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, has described the death of foremost NADECO chieftain as a great loss to Nigerians.

He said the late activist would be remembered for his struggle for the enthronement of Nigeria’s democracy.

Adams’ tribute was contained in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi.

FORMER Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has also eulogised the late labour leader, saying that his indefatigable fighting spirit and sacrifice for the enthronement of constitutional governance are contributions that are indelible in the history of the advent of the Fourth Republic in Nigeria.

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