By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has vowed to investigate the sudden death of the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ibanga Bassey Etang.
Emmanuel made the vow during the commissioning of the 300-bed Isolation Centre in Ituk Mbang on Friday, following reports that the deceased who was his Special died from complications suspected to be the dreaded COVID-19.
It could be recalled that the management of the NDDC had immediately shut down its activities on Thursday for two weeks over COVID-19 scare and shortly after Etang’s demise and had asked all staff to go on self-isolation.
Governor Emmanuel said the State will go far as far ensuring that autopsy is conducted on the deceased to establish the main cause of his death if the COVID-19 test result returned negative.
His words, “I know I’m not supposed to say this but the life of my citizen is important to me. I think between yesterday and today, a lot of things has been on the social media about the only citizen we had in the board of NDDC.
“He was my special Assistant before he left to NDDC. Why is it that of all the persons that are there, it is our own son that has died? There’ll be a time we’ll start asking questions. From the internal memo, NDDC has been shut down and the information there says he died of COVID-19.
“Immediately we had the news, we asked the Commissioner for Health in Rivers State on the result of COVID-19 test on Etang. As I speak the result is not out. I’m only wondering how people concluded that COVID-19 was the cause of his death.
“Once the result is out, we’ll ask questions certainly. We’ll rise to this situation. We’ve informed the Commissioner that if the COVID-19 test result is out and the deceased’s result shows negative, they must do an autopsy on that body.”
The state from all indications seems suspicious over Etang’s death due to the controversy surrounding alleged mismanagement of funds in the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC.
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