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Commission’s officials test positive for COVID-19, Akwa Ibom alleges compromise at entry points


Cairo Ojougboh

No fewer than six of the 33 staff members in the Acting Executive Director (Projects) of Niger Delta Development Commission, Cairo Ojougboh’s office have tested positive for coronavirus.

However, Ojougboh tested negative for the virus, which was blamed for the death of former Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Ibanga Etang.

Following the development, the Rivers State Ministry of Health had requested all suspected cases to present themselves for testing, line listing and contact tracing in order to ensure public health safety. It also directed officials of the commission to self-isolate in view of the death of Etang.


NDDC Director Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, said the commission was liaising with the Rivers State Public Health Emergency team and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to screen members of staff and their dependents.

“The testing exercise has already covered the offices of the Acting Managing Director and that of the Acting Executive Director Projects. Unfortunately, a few positive results have been recorded,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Government had accused security personnel of aiding passengers to enter the state by using their personal vehicles to convey them.

In a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh in Uyo yesterday, it cautioned that henceforth, all vehicles entering the state, irrespective of their owners would be subjected to scrutiny in line with COVID19 entry protocols.

“The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Government has been drawn to a disturbing trend whereby security operatives use their personal cars and in some cases official vehicles to convey passengers through our entry points into the state.

“This is highly condemnable and unprofessional, especially against the backdrop of the current nationwide restriction on interstate movements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Henceforth, all vehicles coming into the state; including security vehicles and those driven or owned by security personnel, will be subjected to prescribed protocols. All service commanders have been informed of this emerging trend.

“While the state government is leaving no stone unturned in the fight against COVID-19, all citizens and residents are enjoined to be vigilant and comply with all safety guidelines,” the statement added.


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