Tonye Cole Resigns from Sahara Group, Goes into Active Politics

Tonye Cole

Tonye Cole

Olaseni Durojaiye

The Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Group has stepped down from the management of the indigenous oil firm, planning to contest the Rivers State governorship election in 2019.

Cole’s resignation was announced by the board and management of the oil firm in a statement THISDAY obtained last night.

In a two-page statement, the company restated its apolitical stand, stressing that in line with the group’s corporate governance policy, it neither “sponsors nor backs any political party or actor in all of the markets it operates including Nigeria.

The statement came on the heels of media reports that Cole had already been endorsed as the preferred candidate of the ruling All Progressives Party, (APC) in Rivers State in the 2019 governorship election.

The statement said: “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. 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, 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.

“We are a business focused on delivering value and quality services to our customers, stakeholders and the economy through innovation, efficiency and global best practices,” the statement said.

The Sahara Group of companies also involved in initiatives, alliances and activities aimed at strengthening its corporate governance and compliance systems.

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