Tonye Cole has resigned his appointment as an Executive Director of Sahara Group of Companies.
Cole, born on January 11 1967, co-founded the conglomerate in 1996.
The board, in an announcement on its website, said Cole has formally declared his decision to participate in active politics.
DAIlLY POST reports that the development followed Cole’s endorsement to run for Rivers Governor in 2019 by Rotimi Amaechi, leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Reacting to reports that he was backing Cole, the Minister of Transport stated that though he won’t impose on the party, he had the right to support any aspirant.
Cole emerged ahead of other aspirants including Senator Magnus Abe, Chief Dumo-Lulu Briggs, Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside and former Senior Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Bekingbo Dagogo-Jack.
The statement from Sahara Group read: “The Board and management of The Sahara Group of Companies wishes to inform the general public and other stakeholders that one of our co-founders and Executive Director, Mr. Tonye Patrick Cole has formally informed the Board of his decision to participate in active politics.
“The Sahara Group wishes to state for the record that as a non-political and non-partisan group, it is not affiliated to any political party in any country we operate in and does not engage in Nigerian politics.
“Mr. Cole’s decision to participate in active politics is his individual preference and choice to which he is entitled.
“In accordance to Sahara Group’s Corporate Governance Charter and International best practice which prohibits any of our key Management or Board members from partaking in active politics, promoting or supporting any particular political organization or ideology, Mr. Tonye Cole has resigned all his Board appointments and day to day responsibilities for the Sahara Group companies and its affiliates with immediate effect.
“We take the opportunity to further re-iterate that the Sahara Group of Companies is a non-political organization and has never had any political ties or affiliations to any political party, group or personalities whatsoever in Nigeria or in any of the jurisdictions in which we have business activities.”