Monday, 3 September 2018

Sahara Energy Chairman Tonye Cole Resigned To Fly APC Guber Ticket In Rivers State

The Convener of Riverine Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Tonye J.T. Princewill, said yesterday that many stakeholders of the party in Rivers State settled for Mr. Tonye Cole because his track record of success could give Governor Nyesom Wike a good fight.

Cole has stepped down from the board of Sahara Enrgy Group to prepare for the race and a career in politics.

Princewill described Cole as a man who could speak the language of business and how to create jobs.

Princewill in a statement said: “Being one of the few privileged to be in the room when the decision was taken, one would have expected me to speak a little sooner. After all, I have been known to shoot from the hip, speak my mind plus my thoughts on the decision right from the moment it was made.

“I confess that I had played out a series of scenarios in my head beforehand and to each one, an appropriate set of responses was measured out and kept waiting. But I thought it wise to let the likely political gladiators for governor have their say first, before doing my own justice to the moment. That time has come.

“I want to start by thanking God for his grace and blessings to let me see this day. Having decided to sit this 2019 contest out, I had repeatedly told my supporters and my associates that my role in this process was to be a facilitator, to help the leader and his leaders achieve victory in 2019.

“I joined the APC to help ease Wike out of the Government House, not to run for the position of governor. The fact that I saw Rotimi Amaechi as head and shoulders above Wike and saw the Buhari/Osinbajo collabo as better than our recent past, did not hurt either.

“APC members were warm and welcoming to me and it felt real good coming home. I never hid my preference for a Riverine governor, preferably of Kalabari origin, but in the end I said, power must rotate by negotiation.

“Now in just under two years of being in APC, our work in Rivers State is no longer business as usual, a more formidable team has been assembled and with new direction, our fortunes have been given sound assurance. So the question that was before Amaechi, before us, was “Who would bell the wicked cat?” If it was an easy decision it would have been made earlier.

“I was a witness to at least two caucus meetings on the issue and several one-on-one meetings that spanned many months. Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs and Dr. Dakuku Peterside had put up a good case for their consideration, Bekinbo Dagogo Jack, an engineer, had also made himself available and to be honest, either of them could have done us proud if given the chance. But alas they weren’t. Our preference rested on the shoulders of Tonye Cole.

“I say our preference because it was not imposed on us.

“This was hard for me to swallow because I am used to being my own boss, being the candidate, but I opted to be a team player by choice. So my word to my team is my bond.”

Princewill asked others who are aspiring to be APC candidate to accept the preference for Cole.

The statement added: “Good leaders must also be good followers. Independence is growth, but interdependence, when independent people join hands, is maturity. Some people will encourage rebellion, some will prod us into exercising our independent streak. Many for valid reasons, some to further deplete our resources. What is a cause for some of us, is a job for others. I hope we will resist that temptation.

“So Tonye Cole is my choice and I urge us all to support him. Why? Because it’s either him or Wike, he has a track record of success, not failure. He puts his friends above profits, he’s not materialistic and he represents a total departure from the status quo or business as usual.

“Let’s actually try something truly new. We may get different results. It will take some getting used to. For all of us. Both for him, the party and for the state.”

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