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Akwa Ibom Youths Seek Justice, Link Etang’s Death to Missing N40b Palliative Fund

Scores of Akwa Ibom Youths were in a peaceful protest on Monday calling for an investigation into the death of their illustrious son, the Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Ibanga Etang, adding that Etang’s death could be linked to the Lawmakers probe into the missing N40b Palliative Fund.

The youths from Eket Federal Constituency stormed the Akwa Ibom office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) the untimely death of Mr Ibanga Etang.

The concerned youths from Eket, Ibeno, Esit Eket and Onna local government areas described the circumstances leading to the death of the commission’s director as ”controversial “.

Etang was a former President General Afigh Iwaad Ekid, a foremost socio-cultural organisation in Eket Federal constituency.

The youths under the aegis of Afigh Iwaad Eket, carrying placards rued the inconsistencies from the NDDC which made Etang’s death a rather curious one for them.

No official of the commission from the Uyo office came out to address the youths, who requested independent machinery to thoroughly investigate the cause of the death of Elder Ibanga Etang.

Speaking through their President General, Obongiwaad (Pastor) Godwin Williams, they wondered: “Why Hon. Ibanga Etang died just a few days to the probe of the NDDC by the National Assembly, especially after the Commission had, some weeks ago, admitted that the sensitive documents which would aid the probe were in the custody of the Executive Director for Finance and Administration?”

They also expressed dismay the NDDC was quick to link the death of the Ag. Executive Director to coronavirus when the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the body authorised to make such declaration had not done so.

“The answers to the above rhetorical questions confirm that Hon. Ibanga Etang’s sudden death is connected to the move by the National Assembly to audit NDDC’s account and to investigate the alleged misappropriation of the 40 Billion Naira Palliative fund. It is obvious that our brother has been sacrificed on the altar and guise of forensic audit and investigation,” they alleged.

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They alleged Etang may have been deliberately killed to cover up certain undercurrents related to the impending probe.

“Consequently, we, the Ekid people are extremely angered by the conspiracy that has led to the unfortunate death of our respected and very illustrious brother. His death is no doubt a monumental loss to Afigh Iwaad Ekid in particular, and to Ekid nation in general. We value the life of every Ekid son/daughter; so, we will not accept or allow this rape on us to be swept under the carpet, especially now that we are aware that NDDC’s plan to eventually link Hon. Ibanga’s death to COVID-19 was thwarted by the public outcry against the intended foul play.

“On this strength, we pledge our commitment, as a pressure group who is pained by the loss of its former President-General, to keenly follow up the process of unravelling the real cause of his death. And this we will do as a mark of last respect and honour to our brother, ObongIwaad (Hon.) Ibanga Etang.

They warned: “The death of Hon. Ibanga Etang, the Executive Director of Finance and Administration of the Interim Management Committee of NDDC should not stall the process of auditing the Commission and investigating the 40 Billion Naira Palliative Fund.”

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