On Thursday, 27th May 2019, the President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Francis Olabode Johnson died at about 3.00 am in a hospital in Port Harcourt city, Rivers State.
He had just returned from Dubai that week when he complained of stomach upset the night before and was rushed to the hospital only to bid this cruel earth goodbye in the wee hours of the next morning.
Born forty-eight years ago, Francis Olabode Johnson hailed from Lagos Island in Lagos State. He was reputed to be a jolly good fellow by his colleagues, Comrades, associates, friends and family.
He took over the reins of Administration of PENGASSAN in 2013 and was billed to hand over power in June this year to pursue a higher level of service to the labour movement as the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC.
As it were, all arrangements have been concluded to field him as the unanimous, consensus candidate for this post later this month. During his tenure as the President of PENGASSAN, he demonstrated exemplary humane leadership by example.
His style was a practical engagement of the various management in the sector under his watch to ensure full execution of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He negotiated a good Redundancy Agreement package with terminal benefits for laid-off workers.
He was the Chairman of the joint sectorial union, NUPENGASSAN entrenching cordial relationships between the two unions as against the prevalent belligerent relations before his leadership. He and the President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha related like blood brothers.
Johnson was an intense humanitarian. One of the leaders of the union, Ngozi Chiweizie, the zonal Chairperson of Women in PENGASSAN broke down in uncontrollable tears when she had of the news of his sudden demise.
Johnson had personally sponsored one of her children for medical treatment abroad to the tune of Five million Naira.
As we commiserate with the family, PENGASSAN, the oil sector and entire labour movement, we urge his fighting soul and deeds to keep haunting the traducers of the labour movement and all oppressed working as well as toiling People.
WORKBOND INTERNATIONAL NETWORK (WIN) Omotaje Olawale- Saint