The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has disclosed that Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, tested positive to COVID-19, putting to rest the mystery around the cause of the sudden death of the vibrant native of Esit Eket in Akwa Ibom State, at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt on the 28th of May, 2020. The Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who himself is a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, ordered immediate closure of the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt for the sake of precautions against possibility of COVID-19 being the cause of the death.
Switch Nigeria had reported on Friday morning the news of the death of Etang, and the swift orders from the supervising Minister.
But, to quell the possibility of misinformation, the NDDC management made a press release to warn that the cause of the sudden death of Etang was still not known as the results of the samples taken for testing for COVID-19, as well as the general autopsy, had yet to come out. Asking the public to desist from claiming he died due to COVID-19, as such will be mischievous insinuation. See our report on their press statement here.
Apparently, however, the results of the autopsy and Covid-19 is out and it can be concluded that Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang may have died due to Corona Virus complications. This is a sad moment for the NDDC because about a week before his demise, Etang was up and running with his duties in the office.
The NDDC, through its Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili, released the following message.
“The Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been consulting with the family of Elder Ibanga Bassey Etang who passed away in the early hours of Thursday, May 28, 2020.
“The family has authorized the Commission to announce that the late executive director tested positive to COVID-19.
“The Rivers State Ministry of Health has written to the Commission to also confirm the cause of death resulting from complications attributable to COVID-19.
“The ministry has, therefore, directed the Commission to order all management staff to go into self-isolation for a period of 14 days with effects from today, while seeking the cooperation of the organisation in tracing staff and contractors who have had close contact with the deceased.
“During the meeting with the family, they expressed fervent desire, that the death of the Executive Director should not be politicised, wishing to be left alone to mourn with dignity. This also is the position of the Commission.
“We pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of our Executive Director Finance and Administration, Elder lbanga Bassey Etang.””””