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Nigeria: Former Union Leader Frank Kokori Dies On 80th Birthday

The Ex-NUPENG General Secretary, famous for challenging military regimes in the 90s, made a distress call regarding his health a month ago.

Former Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) General Secretary, Chief Frank Kokori, has passed away after spending the previous month in the hospital due to a kidney-related illness.

On Thursday, December 7, 2023, which also happens to be his 80th birthday, it was announced that he passed away in a private hospital in Warri at approximately 1:30 am.

The senior labour leader’s passing was revealed to the media early on Thursday by Kokori’s personal assistant, Atawada Oke, who said that Chief Kokori’s health deteriorated on Monday, when he was put on life support and unable to communicate with others.

Chief Kokori had, on the 9th of November, made a distress call regarding his health from his hospital bed. He bemoaned being ignored and left to die despite having made a significant contribution to the nation’s democratic development.

As a result, he got visits from luminaries such as the governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, a former deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, as well as representatives of NUPENG.

Kokori was a key player in the fight to restore the legitimacy of the June 12, 1993, presidential election that the late Chief Moshood Abiola had won.

Ibrahim Babangida’s military regime invalidated the results, sparking demonstrations and national indignation. Kokori, however, had a role in organizing the populace to oppose the annulment.

He organized statewide strikes that seriously impacted the oil business on behalf of NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

Frank Kokori also organized and took part in rallies and demonstrations as part of his active involvement in pro-democracy movements.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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