BY LEVI JOHNSON
Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has said that their late acting Director, Finance and Administration, Ibanga Etang died of COVID-19 as he was tested positive for the virus.
In a statement by NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, explained that the commission was compelled to make the declaration after getting clearance from the deceased family.
“The family has authorised the Commission to announce the late Executive Director tested positive to COVID-19,” Odili said.
He said the Rivers State Ministry of Health wrote to the commission to also confirm that the late director died of complications arising from COVID-19.
He said: “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”.
NDDC recently shut down the commission’s corporate headquarters following COVID-19 scare triggered by the death of Etang, who was a member of the Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Etang reportedly died at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), Port Harcourt after a brief illness.
Etang, a former Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government, resigned his appointment as Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Udom on Projects on April 9, 2018, and formally registered with the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his Etebi Ward 7.
He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 19 as part of a five-member IMC led by Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei