NSCN Vice Chairman Khodao passes away

NSCN Vice Chairman Khodao passes away
NSCN-IM declares seven days mourning
DIMAPUR, MAR 1: NSCN-IM vice chairman and grand old man of Naga political struggle Khodao Yanthan passed away at his native village Lakhuti in Wokha district Monday evening following old age ailments. He was 87.
According to his relatives, his funeral will be held on Wednesday and burial will take place in his village. Khodao was born to late Nthio and Nthîo Yanthan on August 25, 1923 at Lakhuti village. He was the first batch of Naga National Council (NNC) leaders to start the Naga underground movement in the 1950s under the leadership of legendary A Z Phizo. He was also among the first group of leaders who fled Nagaland at the height of insurgency in the late 1950s and landed up in England via then East Pakistan.
He returned from England in mid nineties and settled at his native village.
On September 18, 1990, Khodao was elected the president of the NNC at a meeting in Wokha. His immediate task as the president was to unite the NNC and NSCN. He was even willing to change the nomenclature of NNC and NSCN into a new name combining the two in order to unify the Naga nationalists.
In 1994, Khodao joined the NSCN-IM and was elected its vice-president on April 10, 1996 and subsequently was sworn in on August 1, 1996. Since then he continued to be the vice-president of the NSCN-IM till his death.
Meanwhile, the NSCN-IM has declared seven days mourning from March 1 to 7 in honour its senior leader.
NSCN-IM chief principal secretary Samson Jajo in a release has urged all citizens of Nagalim from all walks of life, well wishers and friends of Nagalim to join the mourning in honour of the great revolutionary leader.
Condoling Khodao’s death, senior NSCN-IM leader and MIP kilonserAZ Jami said he had aged prematurely after all the sacrifices and service rendered to the cause of Naga struggle.
On the funeral service for the departed leader, Jami said a meeting has been called Tuesday morning with senior officers to work out the plans for his funeral service.
GPRN/NSCN chairman SS Khaplang and general secretary N Kitovi Zhimomi along with the cadres of the civil and military set-up have also mourned the death of Khodao.
In a condolence message issued by MIP, GPRN/NSCN said his death is a colossal loss to the Nagas.
The GPRN/NSCN described Khodao as a profound human being who is capable of expressing his views quietly without hogging the limelight. The Naga history will remember him as a towering patriot who exhibited a rare quality of walking away silently into the sunset of life, having given his best to the Naga nation during his prime, it said.
The position he held at a later stage did not thrill him but a gentleman to the core, he never complained but shared life’s little secrets and patriotic vision to all who called on him irrespective of faction, tribe or region. He lived life on his own terms and never doubted the political right of the Nagas.
The GPRN/NSCN saluted him for his magnificent life, his unchained revolutionary spirit and unquestioned love for Nagaland.
The Kyong Hungjantaren Ekhung (KHE) Wokha and Kyong Ekhae Ekhung (KEE) expressed shock at the death of Khodao.
KHE chairman Y Likhao Humtsoe and Kyong Ekhae Ekhung president Yiben Humtsoe have described Khodao as a true Nationalist who has sacrificed his entire life for the rights of the Nagas since the time of British rule in India.
While expressing condolence to the bereaved family, the KHE and KEE prayed for peace of the departed soul.