Tonye Cole, a Nigerian multi-millionaire and co-founder of Sahara Group, has resigned from the board of directors of the company to attempt to build a political career.

The board of Sahara Group in a statement issued on Saturday said the Nigerian oilman was leaving the company in order to participate in active politics. Cole, 51, is looking to contest the governorship elections of Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers state in the 2019 general elections.

Tonye Cole founded Sahara Group in 1996 along with his business partners – Tope Shonubi and Ade Odunsi. The company is now one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solution providers, and operates businesses in the upstream, midstream, downstream and power sectors.