….Omo-Agege, Esele, Akporeha react
By Perez Brisibe, Ughelli
Elder statesman and former secretary-general of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Chief Frank Kokori has lamented the loss of his wife, Mrs Esther Kokori describing her as his backbone and a pillar of democracy during the June 12 struggle.
Chief Kokori who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC Board of Trustees made the disclosure to journalists yesterday at his Ovu country home in Ethiope East local government area of Delta State.
According to the former unionist, his wife of 53years, and mother of six, passed on in Lagos on November 10, 2020, after a protracted illness.
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The late Mrs Kokori aged 73, was reputed to have held forte at the home front when Chief Kokori was incarcerated at Bama prisons, Borno State by the late General Sanni Abacha during the struggle for the actualisation of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential elections.
Speaking on the demise of his heartthrob, Chief 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 of Delta.
Meanwhile, condolences from dignitaries have been pouring in with the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege describing the late Mrs Kokori as a virtuous and forthright woman who was fully involved in democratic struggles behind her husband.
Former president of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Mr Peter Esele on his part, said: “My love and prayers to our veteran labour leader on the translation of his wife. She was the neck on which our leader’s neck rest and I pray God to grant him the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
The national president of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha who led a team of his executive members to commiserate with Chief Kokori, described his late spouse as “a time manager and mother of NUPENG who will be remembered for all her struggles with Chief Kokori to emancipate oil and gas workers in the country.”