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Group Alleges Plot to Create Trouble Between Sylva And NCDMB Secretary

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Transparency in Petroleum Exploration and Development Initiative (TIPEDI) has dismissed as unfounded allegations of the demand or withdrawal of $20 million from the accounts of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the purpose of prosecuting the forthcoming Senate election in Bayelsa State.

Firmly rebutting the allegation, the NGO in a statement affirmed that the allegation could easily be confirmed as spurious when cast against the background of the governance system enthroned by the management of the NCDMB.

It further said that the operation of the Treasury Single Account under the present administration has made the withdrawal of such amount from a government agency as the NCDMB impractical.

TIPEDI in the statement issued on its behalf by its executive director, operations, Mr. Igho Derek rather adduced political motif for the rumour which the organization said lacks logic.

TIPEDI said the originators of the rumour were rather interested in knocking the head of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipire Sylva with that of the management of the NCDMB as led by Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.

Calling on those with interest in the Bayelsa Senate runoff elections to rather focus on selling their agenda instead of blackmail, the group said:

“We believe that those who want to stand for elective offices must be ready and willing to canvass votes based on what they have to offer the people and not seek to distract the people through the introduction of extraneous issues that  have nothing to do with with the welfare of the electorate.

“We say this because it has become the favourite pastime of certain individuals in Bayelsa State to pick on the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) under the leadership of Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote as their scapegoat whenever an election looms in the State.

“Records show that in the recent past, it was the Presidential, National and State Assemblies and later Governorship elections that provided the platform for the vilification of Engr. Wabote and NCDMB. Now with the possible rerun elections to fill vacant Senatorial seats in the Bayelsa State, the fairytale merchants are back at work with  the same old strategy.”

Noting the claim in one online platform that Sylva supposedly asked Wabote to release the sum of $20 million for the APC campaigns and for the prosecution of the legal challenges against Governor Douyle Diri, the group said:

“We of Transparency In Petroleum Exploration and Development Initiative, believe that from the nature, pattern and timing of this frivolous, irresponsible, fake and wicked allegation it is fairly easy to know what source it is coming from. Moreso, as records show that this is neither the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time such an allegation is made against Engr. Simbi Wabote by these people.

“However, from the depth and range of other issues brought into this latest allegation, it is easily discernible that those making the allegations not only seek to whip up negative public opinion against the Hon. Minister of State and his party, the All Progressives Congress APC but are also seeking to cause disharmony and bad blood between the duo of Chief Timipre Sylva and Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote. This we vigorously abhor. Both personalities are assets to the Oil and Gas industry, Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta region and indeed Nigeria.

“We know of a fact that the kind of stringent corporate governance structure that has been put in place at the NCDMB by Engr. Wabote since assuming leadership of the Board makes it totally impossible for any such money to be taken out of the Board’s coffers without due process.

“When people are consumed by an unbridled desire to undo others, they tend to conveniently ignore even manifestly obvious facts such as that all accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are domiciled with the Central Bank, under the TSA arrangement. Therefore, it will be fairly easy to trace such huge disbursements.

“We in TIPEDI consider it a shame that out of desperation to win political contests, some people who otherwise ought to be reasonable have taken flight of reality and resorted to serially making allegations that simply beggars belief!

“TIPEDI knows that Chief Sylva as Chairman of the board has always given positive direction to the NCDMB and will not go against his own principles or the governance structure he has helped to establish in the organization.”


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