Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has described the death of foremost NADECO chieftain, the late Dr. Frank Kokori, as a great loss to Nigerians, saying the late activist would be remembered for his struggle for the enthronement of Nigeria’s democracy.
Adams’ tribute to the late Kokori was contained in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi.
The Yoruba generalissimo stated further that the Oodua People’s Congress under his leadership was one of the beneficiaries of the NADECO struggle, adding that the late Kokori was a strong voice whose conviction to true democratic rule was next to none.
“He believed in the struggle for democracy. He lived all his life as a person who was always ready for the emancipation of the mass of the people.
“When many of his colleagues were struggling for political positions, he didn’t bother. Rather, he concentrated on his avowed commitment to a democratic government that caters to the needs of the majority of the people.
“The late erstwhile General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) was the champion of democracy, and he was reputed to be one of the leading advocates of this democracy.
“He led NUPENG and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN in organising nationwide strikes that crippled the oil industry.
“He was a strong voice and his struggle for the validation of the annulled June 12, 1993, presidential election won by the late Moshood Olawale Abiola was noteworthy.
“The late Kokori was a veteran, a labour leader whose contributions to the democratic growth of the country was not contestable and in spite of his contributions, he never benefited from the struggle.
“As one of the young activists in the early 90s, we knew those that really participated in the struggle for this democracy. And the late Kokori was one of them. He was at the forefront of the struggle.
“He participated in many of the rallies, and demonstrations, calling for the enthronement of democracy and the recognition of Abiola’s victory.
“The late Kokori also played a pivotal role in building alliances with other pro-democracy groups and socio- cultural groups like the OPC and even individuals.
“His courage and large-heartedness fostered unity and a common front against the military regime. He was arrested, tortured and detained for standing firm for the enthronement of democracy. Despite the pain and the injustice meted out to him, he was not deterred by the unjust detention.
“Until lately, he was always our guest at the annual June 12 programme organized by the OPC.
“And that singular commitment to the struggle was a reference point till date. The late Kokori would be remembered for standing firm for that worthy ideal”.
Iba Adams however prayed to God to give the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.