The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has mourned the demise of Frank Kokori, describing him as one who lived a life of struggle for workers’ liberation and the enthronement of democracy.
Kokori, a former general secretary of NUPENG who was popular for leading protest military rule in Nigeria, died in the early hours of Thursday, December 7, 2023, at the age of 80 years.
NUPENG in a statement confirming the death of the labour leader, and signed by Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, president and general secretary respectively, said Kokori spent his life fighting for the emancipation of the working class.
“Late Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori was a well-known committed and dedicated defender, promoter and fighter for workers’ rights and democratic rights of the citizens.
“He spent a life of ‘sacrifice’ struggling for the emancipation of the working class globally and enthronement of democratic rule in Nigeria,” NUPENG said.
The oil workers’ union further noted that their former general secretary spent years in prisons and was severally brutalised in the course of his struggles not only for the trade unions but also against military rule in Nigeria.
“He was also a beacon of democratic struggles in Nigeria, and he remained an advocate of democracy throughout his life. His later years were spent nursing some of the vicious wounds inflicted on him in the course of those struggles yet like the great warrior he was, he still lived up to good age before he eventually surrendered to go home for a peaceful rest after those struggles for humanity,” NUPENG added.
It said “We write to express our deepest condolences and sympathy to the families and loved ones of the late elder statesman.
But while we in the NUPENG family mourn the loss of a great labour icon, we also celebrate his remarkable life where he contributed to our collective struggles for the emancipation of the working people for the greater good to all and sundry.”