Kokori’s death irreparable loss to labour movements in Nigeria, Africa – Aremu


The Director-General of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) in Ilorin, Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu, has described the demise of Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori as an irreparable loss to his immediate family, the entire Nigerian labor movement, and the African continent as a whole.

Kokori, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, passed away in the early hours of Thursday in Warri at the age of 83.

Comrade Aremu reminisced about the steadfastness and struggling spirit of Frank Kokori and his comrades in championing the formation of the National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Workers of Nigeria (NUPENG) in 1978.

He noted that the emergence of the late labor leader as the second pioneer General Secretary of NUPENG was a turning point for the union in the defense of workers’ rights against exploitation and oppression by some big oil companies.

NUPENG, under his leadership, ensured decent work practices in the oil and gas industry.


The Director-General observed that the defining legacy of Frank was his principled struggle for the validation of the annulled June 12, 1993 elections in Nigeria.

Together with the President of NUPENG, Comrade Agamene, and the General Secretary, Comrade Frank Ovie Kokori, they were imprisoned for four years by the military regime.

Comrade Aremu said the best tribute to Kokori by all progressive and democratic forces is to ensure the deepening of democracy in Africa by standing up against military dictatorship in the West Africa sub-region.

He described Kokori as one of the last African democrats who stood for free and fair elections until death came calling.

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