The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says there is no rift between him and the Minister of Nigeria Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio, over the constitution of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Sylva disclosed this in a statement by his Media Aide, Julius Bokoru, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said those concocting the rift were enemies of progress and urged the general public to discountenance the rumour.
He added that the story that Sylva was also attempting to truncate the chances of certain individuals from being Managing Director of the region’s apex interventionist body was false.
He added: “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 for building a more prosperous Niger Delta and a stronger Nigeria.
“Sylva is currently hosting the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit 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.”
Akpabio said the appointment of the board and executive members of the NDDC “is strictly the prerogative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The fake, divisive article is 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 the report as it is totally untrue, malicious and engineered purely for mischief.
“Sylva will continue building harmony amongst Niger Delta leaders and will attract even more development to the region, as he is doing, and will keep working toward a more peaceful South-South region.”