Gone are the days when the name Tonye Cole was synonymous with business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, finesse, poise and class.
Nowadays, his name is associated with brigandage, violence and gangsterism, after ditching a successful business which brought him fame and fortune for the murky waters of politics.
Tonye Cole has over the years built a reputation as a polished and decent gentleman with a nose for sniffing out opportunities and turning them to gold, as he did with Sahara Energy alongside his friends, Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi.
But alas, Tonye has now put on the cloak of a crude warlord, taking orders and following in the footsteps of his friend and political godfather, Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers State who is hell bent on installing his stooge or else, all hell break loose.
But while Amaechi is well versed in the game of violence-backed politics, Tonye Cole is a neophyte in the dark arts and is getting his fingers burnt.
Following his emergence as (factional) APC gubernatorial candidate for Rivers State in controversial circumstances, the Supreme Court ruled a few weeks before the elections that the APC wasn’t eligible to field any candidate in the state.
This was a rude awakening for Tonye: following months of building castles in the air and fantasizing about his presumptive position, his ambition to be Rivers governor was up in smoke.
However, rather than retreat to tend to his business and lick his wounds in the shadows, Tonye was goaded by Amaechi into joining forces with another political party, the AAC and its candidate, Biokpomabo Awara, in a foolhardy attempt to wrest power from incumbent governor and PDP candidate, Nyesom Wike.
This was a plot that was doomed to fail from the outset despite voter intimidation and the full complement of state power at Amaechi’s behest. Tonye’s name is being dragged in mud for is association with Amaechi on this mission impossible.
While Awara continues to wallow in the pipe dream of reclaiming what he describes as a stolen mandate, this is an appeal to Tonye Cole to retrace his steps and save his hard earned reputation which is currently being torn to shreds in the pursuit of his political ambition.
Many people look up to your persona as a businessman par excellence. Please don’t let them down. Save your name and reputation, for God’s sake!