In 2018, Business Mogul Tonye Cole quit his executive leadership position with Sahara Group, a company he founded over 20 years prior. Cole’s next ambition was political, to become the Governor of oil-rich Rivers State of Nigeria. His announcement was met with mixed reactions. His business partners urged him to stay the business track and avoid politics. His beneficiaries were very supportive. Tonye Cole campaigned under the All Progressives Congress (APC) party and won one of two simultaneous primaries conducted by the APC party for Rivers state.
Under APC, Tonye Cole was up against Senator Magnus Abe. Both men held separate primary elections and eventually lost out of their governorship ambitions as a judge ruled only one primary election should be conducted. According to Nigeria’s constitution, political parties are expected to produce only one winner. Tonye Cole is a leader as evident in his track-records as a business man. Many citizens believed in his abilities to lead. So what went wrong with his Governorship aspirations?
Top 2 Reasons Tonye Cole’s Gubernatorial Ambitions Failed:
- APC Party was not united in Rivers State for the primary elections. This is a major leadership fail that can be attributed to former Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Only 1 primary elections should have been conducted in the state.
- Tonye Cole had not deeply infiltrated the APC political system before his bid to become Governor. He mainly relied on Rotimi Amaechi’s support and experience to help guarantee his win.
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