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Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Late Ibanga Etang

The sudden demise of the Executive Director of Finance of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Ibanga Etang, generated so much ripples. Though some people had strived to point out the possible cause of the death, my focus was on the death itself, and how the family would fare now that its pillar has been fallen.

So combing for the cause of the death was absolutely inconsequential at that moment.

After several reporters had attempted to convince the general public that late Ibanga Etang died from the dreaded corona virus disease, others believed that he was sacrificed on the altar of personal interest as the sacrificial lamp, to right the wrongs of the powers that may be.

It could be recalled that for weeks now, there have been series of calls and counter calls for the probe of the Interim Management Committee of NDDC. The quest for this probe by concerned citizens emanated from the misappropriated sum of about N42bn and other improprieties discovered in NDDC within few months.

On receiving different petitions from different groups, the National Assembly had ordered that proper investigation be made to ascertain this claim. The Executive Director of Finance of NDDC was expected to appear before the National Assembly Sub-Committee on NDDC. Four days before the date, Ibanga Etang who was the the Executive Director of Finance was announced dead. What a coincidence!

Immediately the news of Ibanga's demise broke out, there was an order from the Coordinating Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio for NDDC to be shut down for a period of two weeks. They believed if Ibanga had died from Corona virus, the only thing they could do to save lives was to shut down every activities in NDDC for two weeks, then decontaminate the premises for work to commence. The question some people are asking is, Why was there no order for Aso Rock to be shut down after the former Chief of Staff to the President, Late Abba Kyari had tested positive, subsequently died from the virus?

One point that drives everyone to bewilderment is how some people loyal to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs were sure of Ibanga's Covid-19 status even when the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC did not publish his test result.

After two days of inconsequential media rants by these same people prior to same test result, there was a report by some Media Houses that Ibanga's test result released by NCDC, came out negative. Even the official NDDC facebook page had also confirmed the information that Ibanga's test result came negative. It's therefore shocking how same tyey NCDC came out yesterday to maintain that the same person whose results was earlier tested and confirmed negative has suddenly been confirmed positive.

Again, the Media Houses as well as the NDDC official facebook page which had published news about Ibanga's earlier Covid-19 negative test result for reasons known to them, got rid of the information on their respective platforms few hours before the released of the Press Statement by NDDC. Indeed, what money cannot do, more money can do.

The NDDC Press Statement signed by the Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Obi Odili, has shown that Ibanga Etang's death was planned before now. The letter which carries the signature of Mr. Charles Odili dated May 2nd 2020 has left certain questions unanswered at a time like this. What this denotes is that Ibanga Etang was marked for death since April ending. The fact that he survived ending of April to ending of May which he passed on entails how powerful he was. But it's saddening to note that Ibanga was unable to resist the death to the end. With this result finally given as positive, could it be said that once again that, "what money can not do, more money came to the rescue?

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