BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
Barely one week after the demise and burial of late Prince Otu Otu Duke, Special Assistant to the Cross River State governor on Waste Management, there is indications that the governor, Senator Ben Ayade may have abandoned or totally ignored the family with any form of help.
The Patriot News investigation shows that “apart from the condolence message, from the state government, the governor ,Ben Ayade, had never in anyway participated or contributed to his burial”.
It would be recalled that Duke died on April 3 through an alleged medical neglect and incompetence by Dr Offiong Okoho whose private clinic handled the operation that eventually led to his death and was buried on May 22 without the governor showing any concern.
“We are so disappointed, as an appointee we expected his participation both financially and even physically at least through a representative but that was not done. We spent so much handling his bad medical situation yet nothing, our investigation further revealed “.
Our sources added, ” we are not happy at all. Duke who we fondly referred to as “one million” in the social and political circle worked assiduously for governor Ben Ayade in his first and second term elections and at death, the family at least deserves some assistance considering this hard times occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic”.
Late Duke was interred at Essien Town cemetery in Calabar Municipality with glowing tributes from Ayade, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, former governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke among others .
Speaking to our Reporter, the immediate younger brother to the deceased, Otuekong Orok Duke, said “as you can see His Excellency Senator Ben Ayade gave a condolence message and expressed the hope that he will still reach out to the family”.
Ayade who had described late Otu as “a resourceful politician who believed in the unity of Nigeria and his forthrightness and candour said his nationalistic approach to politics will be greatly missed.”
He commended Senator Godswill Akpabio and others for their immense contributions to the burial of his late brother and prayed that God should reward them abundantly in Jesus Name “.
Otuekong Duke who was a former Deputy Speaker in the State House of Assembly and immediate past Chairman of the State Sports Commission, called on authorities concerned to investigate the causes of his brother’s death, and accused one Dr Okoho, the Medical Doctor of Covenant Clinic who performed surgery on late Duke, of being responsible for the death.
However, Dr Okoho has denied any wrong doing in respect to Prince Otu Duke’s death, saying that “the deceased was brought in for surgery at his clinic on March 25, 2020 and that the procedure was successfully carried out, but that seven days after the surgery, the deceased patient developed partial stroke.
Prince Duke died on April 3, 2020 at the age of 60 after undergoing surgery for hernia at Covenant Clinic and Maternity, located at 22 Ekpo Eyo Street in Calabar South local government area.
He is survived by his wife, Grace, two children (Priceless and Divine), brothers and others.