The children and family of the late Chief Frank Kokori, former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, have scheduled March 4-10, 2024, for the conclusive funeral ceremonies.
Kokori passed away on December 7, 2023, coinciding with his 80th birthday, following a brief illness.
The burial dates were revealed in a statement from the Burial Planning Committee (Media Subcommittee) on behalf of the late renowned unionist’s children and family. The statement, shared with journalists on Wednesday, bears the joint signatures of Felix Ayanruoh, the alternate chairman of the Media Subcommittee (on behalf of the chairman, Mr. Kayode Komolafe), Secretary Ebenezer Adurokiya, and Kive Kokori, the son of the late octogenarian.
According to the media subcommittee, the burial events will kick off with a symposium/lecture and a day of tributes on March 4 at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja. Dignitaries, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, top government officials, labor union leaders, members of the civil society, and the general public, are expected to attend.
On Thursday, March 7, 2024, the late octogenarian’s body will lie in state, accompanied by a service of songs and a Christian Wake at his Ovu residence in Delta State.
The final church burial service for the late unionist is scheduled for Friday, March 8, 2024, followed by interment, reception, and entertainment of guests.
The week-long funeral proceedings will conclude on Sunday, March 10, 2024, with a Church Thanksgiving ceremony for family members, friends, and well-wishers, as indicated in the statement.
Kokori played a significant role in the campaign to uphold the results of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election, won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola.
The military junta, led by Ibrahim Babangida, nullified the election results, leading to widespread outrage and protests throughout the country.
Kokori played a pivotal role in mobilizing the masses against the annulment, leading NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria in orchestrating nationwide strikes that paralyzed the oil industry, a critical component of the country’s economy.
These strikes emerged as a potent force against the military regime, exerting substantial pressure on Babangida to reverse his decision.
Beyond spearheading the oil workers’ strikes, Kokori actively engaged in pro-democracy activities, participating in various rallies and demonstrations advocating for the establishment of democracy and the acknowledgment of Abiola’s victory.
He also played a vital role in forging alliances with other pro-democracy groups and individuals, fostering unity and a collective front against the military regime.
Due to his persistent activism, Kokori faced arrest and imprisonment by the military government, enduring both incarceration and torture.
Despite the adversities he encountered, Kokori remained resolute, steadfastly promoting democracy and upholding the principles he held dear.
His unyielding dedication and courageous endeavors garnered him extensive respect and admiration, establishing him as a heroic figure in the struggle for June 12.