Ex-NUPENG Gen Secretary, Frank Kokori is dead
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on December 7, 2023
The ex-General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori is dead.
He was 80 years old.
Chief Frank Kokori breathed his last at a kidney treatment hospital in Warri, Delta State, in the early hours of today, Thursday.
One of his aides, who confirmed the painful development to Vanguard, said he would want the family to formally break the news to the media.
“He passed on this night. I would want the family to break the news formally to the media.
“I am his aide but at this moment I am not to speak on this until the family issues a statement,” he said.
Newsmen learned that Kokori’s health relapsed on Monday, and the veteran labour leader was placed on life support.
Recall that Frank Ovie Kokori made a distress call over his failing health status last month.
He lamented that in spite of his key role in the growth of the nation’s democracy, he had been abandoned.
When the newsmen visited him at the hospital last month, he said: “I came to this hospital when I was told there is a place like this in Warri.
“They have been doing their best. In the midnight, they put their generator off. But I begged them to run it that I will pay their bills.
“I came on Tuesday. After the dialysis, I have been here. I could have just died because of lack of diesel. So I had to beg them to run their generator so the air conditioner, AC, in the ward can function. I need it to be alive.
“It got to a stage that I could not take a flight, I could not walk. If it was when I was in NUPENG, I would have been flown out with air ambulance immediately.”
When the Military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the June 13, 1993 presidential election, Kokori was involved in mobilising the masses against the government.
He led NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, in organising nationwide strikes that crippled the oil industry.
Also, Frank Kokori was actively involved in pro-democracy activities, organising and participating in rallies and demonstrations.
He told newsmen: “If I wanted to compromise, the military (junta of late General Sani Abacha) was ready to give me anything but I stood for democracy, believing that democracy will usher in a better Nigeria.
“The refineries were working before I retired from NUPENG.
“I became the tribune of the country, heading the freedom fighters. Some of us were underground, disguised for 10 weeks fighting the military.