Delta State’s Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has spoken of nursing deep sorrow at the death today Thursday of Elder Statesman and iconic former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria, (NUPENG), Chief Frank Ovie Kokori.
After news broke in November that Kokori languished from kidney-related ailments in a hospital with unpaid bills, Oborevwori had visited the Labour leader, who hailed from Delta State, and settled the debts.
Mourning the late veteran Labour leader, a statement by Governor Oborevwori today Thursday said: “I have just received with shock, news of the passing of one of Nigeria’s greatest statesmen, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, a Deltan of unparalleled patriotism.
“I am saddened that at a time like this when his patriotic zeal is needed in our dear nation, Nigeria, death came calling. I will forever cherish our last moments together when l visited him in the hospital. He was ebullient and was in very high spirit despite his ailment. He fought a good fight.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to the family, the Urhobo nation, NUPENG, APC, Deltans and Ovu community in particular over the passing of the renowned elder statesman and labour icon.
“As a bastion of inspiration, labour icon and a man of great political depth and insight as well as a leader of leaders, he contributed immensely to the development of our state and country throughout his lifetime.
“As a government, we were committed to ensuring that the now late elder statesman got back to his feet but, unfortunately, against the grain of our expectation, he couldn’t make it back from the hospital.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta State, I mourn the exit of a great elder statesman, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, whose contributions to the June 12 struggle and Nigeria’s democracy remain an inspiration to many.
“As the nation mourns him, I enjoin the Kokori family, friends and associates to honour his memory by continually upholding the values and principles which he lived for and never stopped fighting for till his death.
“My government will be fully active in giving this patriot a befitting funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this critical time.
“May his gentle soul rest in peace”.