Speaking during the commissioning of a 300 bed isolation centre in Ituk Mbang on Democracy day Governor Udom Emmanuel said the mysterious death of Hon. Ibanga Basset Etang Acting Executive Director Administration and Finance of NDDC can’t just go without critical investigations
“We can’t believe that he died of Covid-19 as we are told. When did they conduct the test?, when did the result came out?
I spoke with the Commissioner of Health in Rivers State on phone and he told me that the test result done on him was not yet out as at yesterday. So, how did they come about with the news flying all over in the Press, claiming it was Covid19 that killed him?.
NDDC management even hurriedly did an internal memo that was supposed to be an ‘internal Memo’ but the Memo was all over the public space.
We are awaiting for the test result to ascertain what killed him.
We take the life of every Akwa Ibomite very serious. We will conduct an autopsy on him no matter what.
He was an energetic young man, how can Covid-19 just kill him like that?
We’ll not accept it. We would find out what killed him.
Why must it alway be us?”
Governor submitted angrily.
Apparently rattled on the Governor Udom Emmanuel public query on why NDDC management could quickly conclude that the death of Etang was as a result of COVID-19 or why an internal memo issued within the Commission was sent to the public to alert the world that NDDC headquarters will be fumigated, and the complex short down for two weeks for all staff to go for self isolation to prevent further spread of Coronavirus, the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs Affairs, Mr Charles Obi Odili issued out a Press Release to “cover up some flaws” in their hasty public conclusion of the cause of death of the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration.
The Press Release published yesterday to fix up grey areas in the tragic death of Ibanga Etang reads thus:
Disregard False Stories About NDDC
The Management of the Niger Development Commission, NDDC, wishes to announce the death of its Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang. He died in the early hours of Thursday in Port Harcourt.
This announcement is coming at this time because of the need to inform family members. The Commission is not aware of the cause of his death as at the time of this release (6.45pm on Friday, 29, 2020).
In line with fears of the current time, the Commission took the precautionary measure of temporarily shutting down its headquarters for two weeks. Staff were also asked to self-isolate. This action does not presuppose the cause of death.
An autopsy report is being expected and when this is ready, it would be released with the consent of the family.
The NDDC is, therefore, miffed by spurious and uncharitable coloration being championed by mischief makers on the occasion of the demise of Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, whose untimely death occurred at the early hours of Thursday the 28th of May 2020.
The Commission is on course to issuing a comprehensive fact-based statement in consonance with the bereaved family, but for the unwarranted and unsubstantiated reportage which is flying in devilish propensities.
Until the autopsy report is release from the Commission’s stables, every story on this matter, flies in the face of truth.
The Commission also wishes to state that the rumours over the internal memo for staff of the Commission to stay away, so that sanitary and hygienic cleaning of the Commission can take place, is most unfortunate. The idea behind it is purely precautionary.
The commission wishes, therefore, to appeal to those mean spirited, whose ambition is to always turn truth on its head, to seek a path of repentance.
The NDDC is determined to deliver on its core mandate to the good people of the Niger Delta region. Neither slander nor provocative insinuations will deter us.
Charles Obi Odili
Director, Corporate Affairs
May 29, 2020.