By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – NIGER Delta Rights Advocates (NDRA) on Wednesday called for autopsy on Ibanga Etang, late Executive Director of Finance and Administration (EDFA) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) following conflicting reports on his Covid-19 status at death.
NDRA in a statement yesterday by its Spokesperson, Darlington Nwauju, made the call as the NDDC management announced Tuesday that the late EDFA died of Coronavirus against earlier report last Friday that he tested negative from test results a day after he was declared dead in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Nwauju stated that, “NDRA is forced to observe some of the obvious unscientific, unethical and disturbing releases by both the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs over the death of the late Ibanga.
“We observe that both the NDDC through a letter signed by Silas Anyanwu and the Minister through his Chief Press Secretary earlier announced shutting down of the Commission and further advising staffers to self-isolate without reference to any Medical Report either through the NCDC, Rivers State Ministry of Health or the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.
“Whilst our enquiries shows early samples taken from the deceased returned negative for COVID-19, we are a bit confused as to how and when both the NDDC and Ministry got the latest results which they claim is positive.
“Our worry stems from the fact that the previous statements issued on 28 May 2020 and 29 May 2020 by the NDDC and Ministry respectively shutting down the agency for two weeks infers that both government agencies already knew outcome of the test results.
“Again, the confusion over which of the hospitals in Rivers state actually examined the samples taken from the late Ibanga is noteworthy. NDRA is aware that the testing centre at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital is not functioning at full capacity.
“Rivers State Ministry of Health had not written to the NDDC as at 28 May 2020 over the late Ibanga’s COVID status. In light of the haste with which orders were issued to NDDC staff to self-isolate since 28 May and the fresh order 2nd June proclaiming the late Ibanga died of COVID, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to order a pathological examination on the mortal remains of the late Acting EDFA of NDDC.
“NDRA also blames the Agency for failing to live up to expectations in the region in the inability of the Agency to set-up any Molecular laboratory in any of the nine (9) oil-producing states under its mandate.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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