ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has denied any rift between him and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, over the formation of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Sylva’s denial is contained in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Julius Bokoru.
Bokoru said the reported row was false and nothing more than a string of poorly thought-out and poorly crafted lies that should be totally disregarded and discarded.
He said Sylva had maintained excellent relations with Akpabio through the years, stressing that they consider themselves brothers and comrades in the quest of building a more prosperous Niger Delta and a stronger Nigeria.
The spokesman said Sylva was currently hosting the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), noting that while he has the development of the Niger Delta at heart, he is not fixated on who becomes who in the formation of the NDDC board.
Bokoru said Sylva hopes and prays that for the sake of the development of the region, competent, committed, compassionate and patriotic people get appointed.
He said the architects of that story conveniently forgot to mention that the appointment of the NDDC executive members is strictly the prerogative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Bokoru said: “The fake, divisive report was intended to create anxiety in the Niger Delta region to the desperate ends of its sponsors which is to create needless tension and chaos.
“The public is hereby advised to disregard that report as it is totally untrue, malicious and engineered purely for mischief.
“Sylva will continue building harmony amongst Niger Delta leaders, he will attract even more develoment to the region as he is doing and will keep working towards a more peaceful Southsouth region.”