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Friday, January 17, 2020

Meet Dan Kunle, The Shadow Power In The Petroleum Industry & Most Trusted Aide Of Minister Timiore Sylva

There is no prevaricating the fact that Timipre Sylva is holding one of the most influential portfolios in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari;
what appears to be a hidden secret to many is that the former Governor of Bayelsa has a core member of his ‘kitchen cabinet’ in the person of Dan Kunle.
Like ‘the Hand of the King’, Dan Kunle is not just Timipre Sylva’s closest advisor, appointed and authorized to make decisions on his behalf, he is the chief agent for coordinating and carrying out the Timpre’s plans and appears to be the real power behind the throne, and the man chiefly responsible for holding the realm together.
Sylva, who has been Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources since August 2019, has hired very few people with whom he is close; the former governor of the oil-rich Bayelsa State until 2012 can count on the off-the-record help of one man who he fully trusts: Dan Kunle.
Dan Kunle, who hails from the Kogi State and was one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is not a novice to public service. He has for many years worked in a senior role at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). Records show that he played pivotal roles in the windup of Nigeria Airways’.
Kunle’s extensive experience in the oil sector has always come handy, as he was appointed the technical advisor to the Minister of State for Energy (Gas) Emmanuel Olatunde Odusina during President Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure from 2007 to 2010. His involvements in the writing of the minister’s gas master plan were indelible.
Another sterling trait that keeps making Kunle a subject attraction to juicy appointment is his extensive network of contacts, having been a board member of telecommunications firm NTel alongside the former minister of defence and close friend of Muhammadu Buhari, TY Danjuma.
Meanwhile, the ministerial office of Timipre has been ceremonial than operational in terms of the influence he is able to pull. Ideally, as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sylva only reports to one person, President Buhari, who has kept control of the country’s oil portfolio since 2015. Based on hierarchy,  the head of NNPC, Mele Kyari, reports to the ministry and therefore Sylva. However, this is not so in practice. Kyari, who hails from Borno State, reports directly to the President through his equally Borno-born powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, thereby bypassing Timipre Sylva.
From all indications, Sylva appointment has more to do with political contigency than administrative exigency. It is a kind of a political handshake across the Niger. There is need to extend the All Progressives Congress tentacles to the Niger-Delta, the stronghold of the opposition party PDP, where Timipre is considered a formidable force. This much was shown in the governorship election recently held Bayelsa State, as Sylva, a deft strategist and the APC candidate, David Lyon, was able to win in the November elections.

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