By Elo Edremoda, Warri
Esther, wife of elder statesman and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Frank Kokori, is died.
Kokori, a former General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) disclosed this at his hometown in Ovu, Ethiope East council area of Delta on Wednesday.
According to him, she died on November 10 after a protracted illness in Lagos.
They were married for 53 years.
The foremost labour unionist described his late wife as a pillar of democracy, especially during the June 12 struggle and his incarceration by the late General Sanni Abacha.
The deceased, a mother of five children and six grandchildren worked with former British Paints (now Berger Paints) as a stenographer before she delved into business and unionism with her husband.
Addressing newsmen, Kokori said: “She was a pillar of democracy during the struggle for the June 12 actualisation. She was holding forte for me while in prison at Bama.
“She was my backbone; very supportive to my struggles like Kudirat was to Abiola. She was holding meetings with late Gani Fewehinmi, Femi Falana, Beeko Kuti, Abraham Adesanya and other chieftains of NADECO, Afenifere and civil societies, among others in my absence”.
Mrs. Kokori, whose remains have been brought from Lagos and embalmed in a morgue in Delta, hails from Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area.
She was 73 and her burial comes up on a yet-to-be-decided date in February 2021, according to Chief Kokori.
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, during a condolence visit to Pa Kokori, described his late wife as a virtuous and forthright woman whose impact in democratic struggles will be remembered.
National President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, who also led a team of his executive members to commiserate with Chief Kokori, described the deceased as “a time manager and mother of NUPENG” who is “remembered for all her struggles with Chief Kokori to emancipate oil and gas workers in the country.”