The membership of the newly-appointed caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State appears to have been shared between the loyalists of immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and supporters of the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike.
Amaechi is a member of the APC while Wike is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had on Wednesday dissolved the crisis-ridden Rivers State chapter of the party, and appointed a seven-member caretaker committee to run its affairs for the next six months.
The committee members are Tony Okocha (Chairman), Eric Nwibani (Secretary), Chibuike Ikenga and Stephen Abolo.
Others are Silvester Vidin, Senibo Dan-Jumbo and Darling Amadi.
Okocha is a known supporter of Wike, although they belong to different political parties.
His appointment as the committee chairman has, therefore, fuelled speculations that the ruling party is preparing grounds for the defection of the FCT Minister to APC.
Okocha, a former Chief of Staff to Amaechi, has been critical of his former boss in recent times.
He has also been championing the campaign for the defection of Wike from PDP to APC.
In an interview in July, Okocha declared that his faction had resolved to formally invite Wike to join the APC and take over the structure of the party.
“The group had met after the election and we asked ourselves what the position was. In that meeting, it was not part of our agenda. We had a two-point agenda.
“One, was a briefing as to what has happened? The second one was, what is the way forward? In the cause of that meeting, a motion was moved from the floor saying that we should invite Governor Wike to come over to APC and take over the leadership of APC,” he had said.
There are speculations that now that he has been given the structure of the APC in Rivers State with the mandate to midwife the birth of a new state executive, he would ensure the defection of Wike to the party.
Similarly, the appointment of Nwibani, a loyalist of Amaechi, as the secretary of the caretaker committee is seen by observers as some sort of a balance.
Nwibani, a House of Representatives candidate in the last general elections, belongs to the Amaechi political bloc in the state.
Another loyalist of Amaechi is Ikenga, a former caretaker chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, where the former governor hails from.
The caretaker committee will be inaugurated on Friday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.