Julius Bokoru, an aide to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says there is no rift between the minister and that of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.
Mr Bokoru, Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, in a statement issued on Tuesday, debunked claims of an alleged row between both ministers over the formation of a substantive Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Mr Bokoru noted that Sylva was not in any way involved in the attempt to truncate the chances of certain individuals from being Managing Director of the region’s apex interventionist body.
He said: “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 excellent relations with Akpabio through the years. The duo consider themselves brothers and comrades in the quest of building a more prosperous Niger Delta and a stronger Nigeria.”
According to him, Mr Sylva is currently hosting the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, and is not fixated on who becomes who in the formation of the NDDC board.
“The minister, rather, hopes and prays that for the sake of the development of the region, competent, committed, compassionate and patriotic people get appointed.
“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.
“The fake, divisive article 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 thereby advised to disregard that report as it is totally untrue, malicious and engineered purely for mischief,” Mr Bokoru said.
He noted that Sylva would continue to work toward building harmony amongst Niger Delta leaders, attracting more development and making the South South region more peaceful.