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Sylva denies rift with Akpabio over constitution of NDDC’s board

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Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Osagie Ogunbor (left); Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, and Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Malam Mele Kyari at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja…yesterday.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said there is no rift between him and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, over the constitution of the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) board.

A statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Julius Bokoru, quoted Sylva as saying that those making up the story of misunderstanding between him and Akpabio were enemies of progress and, therefore, urged members of the public to ignore the speculation.

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Sylva also refuted reports that he was attempting to truncate the chances of some individuals from their aspiration to become Managing Director of the commission.

“The story is false and nothing more than a string of poorly thought-out and poorly crafted lies that should be totally disregarded and discarded.

“Sylva has maintained an excellent relationship with Akpabio over the years and they consider themselves brothers and comrades in the quest for building a more prosperous Niger Delta and stronger Nigeria,” the statement reads.

Bokoru said Sylva was currently hosting the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) and while he has the development of the Niger Delta at heart, he was not fixated on the composition of the NDDC board.

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“He rather hopes and prays that for the development of the region, competent, committed, compassionate and patriotic people should be appointed into the management and board of the interventionist agency,” he said.

He urged the purveyors of the report to note that the appointment of the board and executive members of the NDDC was strictly the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The fake, divisive story 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 the report, as it is untrue, malicious and contrived for mischief,” Bokoru stated.

“Sylva will continue to build harmony among Niger Delta leaders, the minister will attract more development to the region and will keep working towards a more peaceful South-South region,” the statement added.

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