By Daniel Dafe, Abraka
Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has debunked reports that said the battle for the formation of a substantive Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has created a rift between him and Senator Godswill Akpabio, Honourable Minister for Niger Delta Affairs.
In a statement on Tuesday, signed by Julius Bokoru, SA Media and Public Affairs to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva also debunked the story that he said also imagines that he is attempting to truncate the chances of certain individuals from being Managing Director of the region’s apex interventionist body.
The statement continued: “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 Senator 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.
“Sylva is currently hosting the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) and 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. He rather hopes and prays that for the sake of the development of the region, competent, committed, compassionate and patriotic people get appointed.”
According to the statement, “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.”
Adding: “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.”
“Sylva will continue building harmony amongst Niger Delta leaders, the Honourable Minister will attract even more develoment to the region as he is doing and will keep working towards a more peaceful South-South region,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, a list given by a source said that the new NDDC boad has Emerhor Ortega as Chairman and Maxwell Okoh as MD.
While Ortega is believed to be from Senator Ovie Omo-Agege though another source said Amaechi is behind Emerhor, Okoh is said to be Sylva’s choice who replaced Bernard Okumagba that was on the initial list sent to the Senate for screening.
If this arrangement sails through, then Delta may miss out on occupying the position of MD.
Others on the said list are Bassey Akwa – EDFA, Chukwudi Dimkpa – EDP
This list, our source said is subject to ratification by President Buhari.
Observers are keenly watching to see the final list released, even as the Ijaws and Itsekiris are seriously jostling to occupy the position of MD of the Board.
Our source added that a panel was set up comprising Amaechi, Akpabio and others to select the board members of the NDDC.
Among the five names that are there are Ogboru, Cairo, Emerho, Okumagba and an Ijaw man, adding that their fate depends on Agege’s choice.
It is yet to be clear why Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru has always been rumored to be on the list. but when finally released is always not found on the official list.
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