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Rift Between NAPIMS Boss, Bala Wunti And NNPC Head Honcho, Mele Kyari Rages On

In the tangles of discord, there is no true valour. Loyalty suffers a hideous demise and comradeship is brutally impaired. This is the more reason Bala Wunti and Mele Kyari should preserve the bond that makes them two of a kind.

Sadly, the cold war between the brothers from the Northern part of the country gives a heady whiff. Few months ago, we reliably gathered they lunged and tore at each other like heat-crazed feral cats. Unlike the petty fools of strife, who shriek and sweat in proxy wars, the tight buddies must avoid the vanities that set comrades at each other’s throats. They must stay simpatico with each other.

As you read, the borders of control and influence between Wunti and Kyari are constantly lured to clash and blur, to pit both men and their respective offices in a virulent swirl.

If mischief makers have their way, they would goad the heads of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) respectively into the quicksand of suspicion.


Recently, some faceless rabble-rousers have been trying to lure Mele Kyari, who was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari as the 19th GMD of NNPC in 2019 into a tumultuous relationship with Wunti, who heads NAPIMS. Sources close to the duo revealed that both men are no longer enjoying good working relationship as they used to . And this is affecting the operations of their respective organisations.

For a long while, Kyari and Wunti have shunned the bewitching delusions and theories of war that set their predecessors apart; and this has for a long while caused certain shady elements, who felt threatened by their once flourishing friendship, sleepless nights.

Little wonder some devious hearts are earnestly seeking to impair the bonds of their friendship and usher them into a snarl of cutthroat rivalry.

Those shady elements have been undoubtedly unsettled by the duo’s friendship; they would rather the duo get mired in eternal discord as was the case with their predecessors who plunged NAPIMS and NNPC into a perennial crisis of trust.

To pit them against each other, the mischief makers have been spreading the rumour that Wunti is after Kyari’s job and that Kyari, in turn, has been plotting to have Wunti removed because he feels threatened by the NAPIMS boss’ rising profile.

Interestingly, however, the agents of discord have been telling the NAPIMS boss that his friend, Kyari, may wield some information against him and use it to malign him before Mr. President. And to rile Kyari, they are spreading the rumour that Wunti is out to get his job, claiming that he has a hand in the recent call for President Tinubu to sack him on allegations of his complicity in the mismanagement of the NNPC and petroleum industry.

They said his alleged complicity in the illegal allocation of oil blocks and marginal oil fields championed by the NNPC was sponsored, in part, by his estranged friend.

The mischief makers plotting the ruination of Wunti and Kyari’s friendship prefer the era when NAPIMS and NNPC head honchos were locked in a perpetual war of wills and malice.

In that era, there was no love lost between the leaders of both public organisations. The fact that NAPIMS is a Corporate Services Unit (CSU) in the Exploration and Production (E&P) Directorate of NNPC notwithstanding, something sinister always triggered fracas between the heads of these all-important two organisations which are central to Nigeria’s wealth.

If the Group Managing Director of NNPC was not accusing the Managing Director of NAPIMS of insubordination; the latter would attempt to pass a report to the President intimating to him of NNPC’s overbearing and some opaque operations that muddled up NAPIMS investments. It was always a cat-and-dog relationship between those who headed the two organisations.

To put this in proper perspective, the worth and success of Nigeria’s investments in her oil sector are mostly determined by the NAPIMS; as it maximizes return on investments for the country through effective supervision of the joint venture (JV) and production sharing contracts (PSC) companies among others to ensure that Nigeria’s interests are adequately covered. With a portfolio so massive and juicy, there is bound to be some high-handedness from some vested interests.

But all these paled into insignificance on Wunti and Kyari’s watch. All the distrust and suspicions of the past were consigned to the dustbin of history as the duo operated with unprecedented mutual trust and confidence.

They have always been on the same page and this irks the dark elements and masterminds of shady deals in both public parastatals.

But hard as they try, they would never succeed in sowing the seeds of rivalry and distrust between Wunti and Kyari. The bond between the duo has severally been described as a healing stem to the public service’s putrid branches.

Source: The Capital

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