Frank Kokori for burial March 8

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The children and family of a former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Chief Frank Kokori, have fixed March 4-10, 2024, as dates for the final burial rites of the deceased.

Kokori died on December 7, 2023, which was the day he clocked 80 years, after a brief illness.

The burial dates were announced in a statement on behalf of the children and family of the late foremost unionist by the Burial Planning Committee (Media Subcommittee), made available to journalists on Wednesday.

It was jointly signed by the Media Subcommittee’s alternate chairman, Felix Ayanruoh, on behalf of the chairman, Kayode Komolafe, Secretary, Ebenezer Adurokiya and son of the late octogenarian, Kive Kokori.

The media subcommittee disclosed that the burial ceremony would commence with a symposium/lecture day/day of tributes on March 4 at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, where President Bola Tinubu, other top government functionaries and leadership of labour unions, members of the civil society and the general public are expected to be in attendance.

On Thursday, March 7, 2024, the body of the octogenarian will be lying in state, coupled with a service of songs and Christian Wake at his Ovu home in Delta State.

Final church burial service for the late unionist, according to the statement, holds on Friday March 8, 2024, to be followed by interment, and reception and entertainment of guests.

The seven-day burial ceremony will be wrapped up on Sunday, March 10, 2024, with a Church Thanksgiving for family members, friends and well-wishers, the statement said.

Kokori emerged as a pivotal figure in the struggle for the validation of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election won by late Chief Moshood Abiola.

The military junta, Ibrahim Babangida, annulled the results, causing outrage and protests across the country.

He led NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria in organising nationwide strikes that crippled the oil industry, the country’s economic lifeblood.

The strikes served as a powerful weapon against the military regime, putting significant pressure on Babangida to reverse his decision.

In addition to leading the oil workers’ strikes, Kokori was actively involved in pro-democracy activities.

He participated in various rallies and demonstrations, calling for the enthronement of democracy and the recognition of Abiola’s victory.

He also played a crucial role in building alliances with other pro-democracy groups and individuals, fostering unity and a common front against the military regime.

As a result of his relentless activism, Kokori was arrested and detained by the military government, enduring imprisonment and torture.

Despite the hardships he faced, Kokori remained undeterred, continuing to advocate for democracy and the ideals he believed in.

His unwavering commitment and courageous actions earned him widespread respect and admiration, solidifying his status as a hero in the fight for June 12, 1993.