•       Chief Frank Kokori

The founding leader of All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Otega Emerhor, has called on the President Bola Tinubu-led APC government to immortalise the late labour leader and former Secretary General of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Frank Ovie Kokori.

Kokori died at a private hospital in the early hours of Thursday.

Emerhor, in a statement made available to journalists in Warri on Friday, described his death as “a great loss to Nigeria’s democracy.”

While condoling with the Kokori family over the demise of the octogenarian and elder statesman, the APC leader maintained that the former NUPENG scribe was pivotal to the return of Nigeria to democracy

The statement partly read, “I am pained to receive the sad news of the passing of one of Nigeria’s active participants in the June 12 struggle. Papa Kokori sacrificed so much for the current democracy we are all enjoying. He fought at the detriment of his family and personal comfort for the return of civilian rule.

Chief Kokori also made valuable contributions to the formation and growth of our party, the APC. For his likes, APC today has a strong footing in Delta State and other parts of Nigeria.

His contributions to the development of our democracy will be well remembered. To this end, I appeal to our esteemed leader and President of our nation, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to immortalise him. Immortalising Chief Kokori is a way of commending him for his role in returning Nigeria to democracy.”

Meanwhile, the Centre for Change in a statement signed by its President, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, has mourned Kokori’s demise, describing the deceased as “a modest man.”

It reads, “This giant passes on at 80, beating the life expectancy schedule of life’s curious rulers. Memories of the valiant are sweet too. How could it not be? To dare the vicious maximum rulers of Nigeria and live to tell.

Ovie Kokori was one linchpin of the June 12 struggle. He led the wedge in the flow of fuel and grounded the critical sector.

modest man with zero airs. His flesh would be so missed. Yet, the spirit of a fighter comforts us who are yet mortals.