1st June, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR,
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Villa, Abuja,
AN OPEN LETTER REQUESTING FOR A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSE OF THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE INTERIM MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE OF THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC), OBONGIWAAD (HON.) IBANGA ETANG.
On Thursday May 28, 2020, Afigh Iwaad Ekid, one of Nigeria’s renowned socio-cultural organizations domiciled in Eket Federal Constituency, received with rude and irritating shock the news of the sudden and suspicious demise of its former President-General (the 4th), ObongIwaad (Hon.) Ibanga Etang, who until his death was the Executive Director of Finance and Administration of the Interim Management Committee of NDDC. The fact is that Hon. Ibanga Etang died under unexplainable and very suspicious circumstances. His death has, therefore, evoked questions begging for answers.
One, how come Hon. Ibanga Etang died just 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?
Two, how come the NDDC was quick to link the death of the Ag. Executive Director to the dreaded Corona Virus, even when the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the body authorized to make such declaration had not done so? In other words, we are wondering what could have been the motive behind the Commission’s hasty decision to take the “precautionary measure of temporarily shutting down its headquarters for two weeks without the involvement of the NCDC, if not for the purpose of eventually attributing the cause of his death to Corona Virus? On this, we consider the defence presented by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Charles Odili, on Friday, May 29, 2020, an afterthought, or the desperation of a drowning man who is willing to clutch at a straw.
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 alter and guise of forensic audit and investigation. In other words, we are certain that Hon. Ibanga Etang was 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 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.
However, for record and clarity purpose, we wish to explicitly state our prayers as follows:
- That a machinery be set in motion to thoroughly investigate to unravel the cause of the death of our brother and leader, ObongIwaad (Hon.) Ibanga Etang. In other words, we demand to know, from a forensic autopsy that is devoid of the involvement of NDDC, what actually killed him.
- That 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.
Your Excellency, we consider you a man of high integrity and pedigree; hence, we pray that you bring your history of integrity to bear in the direction of our requests.
Thank you, and please accept the assurances of our highest regards.
Yours in community service,
ObongIwaad (Pst.) Godwin Williams
- Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
- Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria
- Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta
- The Inspector General of Police
- National Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ)
- National Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
- Secretary to the Government of the Federation
- Member, Representing Eket Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives
- Senator, Representing Eket Senatorial District in the Senate
- Director, State Security Services (SSS), Akwa Ibom State
- Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
- Ag. Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission