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2019: I will offer good governance to Nigerians – Prof. Sonaiya

Prof. Remi Sonaiya


Prof. Remi Sonaiya, a presidential aspirant under KOWA Party, has said that she will offer Nigerians good governance if given the chance to lead.

She spoke on Thursday at the public presentation of her book, ‘One Woman’s Race.’

The book chronicles her journey into politics as well as her experiences as a presidential aspirant in 2015.

Responding to questions from journalists on what she has to offer Nigerians, the retired Professor of French said: “I offer Nigerians good governance. When we travel out of the country, what are the things we travel to see. How come human beings like us can run things well, can provide good services for their people – water, electricity, good schools,  good hospitals and good roads?

“Those are not big deals anymore in the 21st century. We have leaders who will travel out to get good treatment when they are sick. Do you and I not deserve good treatment in our own hospitals here?  What saddens me most is that Nigerians are out there contributing to the development and to the rendering of good services in so many other countries. It’s not that we do not have the know how. It’s just that will to convince ourselves to make a change.

“That is what is lacking and we must find it in ourselves somehow to convince ourselves that this is not working and make a change.”

She identified the fear of change as the greatest challenge facing the country.

Her words:  “The greatest challenge facing Nigeria today is the challenge of making a change. Because we are  used to a certain way of doing things, we have convinced ourselves that this is the way politics is in Nigeria; sell your vote, collect money from the politicians and whatever you can get and that’s it because those are the only things you can get till you see them again after four years.

“How much is four thousand naira for us to mortgage our future and condemn ourselves to, maybe, eight years of bad governance. Nigerians need to think about these things and determine to make a turn-around of things.”

Prof. Sonaiya challenged Nigerians to do things differently come 2019 even as she raised some posers.

She queried: “What would Nigerians do differently? Would you keep voting for the same people who are keeping us malnourished, impoverished and terrorised? Are you going to do something differently? Are you going to begin to consider that you have other options or are going to keep going the same way?”

On the proposed budget for the elections, she wondered why it was necessary to spend so much when the money could be put to better use developing needed infrastructures such as schools and hospitals in the country.

Insisting that she was not in the race to represent only women or because she is a woman, Prof. Sonaiya said  that Nigeria was shortchanging herself in keeping women out of governance and decision making in the country.

“It is not about representing women. I went into the race as a concerned citizen. I see myself as a person not just as a woman, a person who cares about people. We need to appreciate that we are all human beings created equally irrespective of gender.

“However, I must say that the women need to be part of governance because they have their own perspective to bring to our discourse. We are shortchanging ourselves when we shut out women and if Nigeria continues to keep women out of decision making, it will not be to our advantage,” she stated.

She spoke further:  “If we have to legislate the presence of women in political offices, then that has to be done. We must take deliberate action to have women in politics.”

She identified violence and the overwhelming emphasis on money as part of the reasons why women shy away from politics.

The event which took place at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, was co- chaired by Princess Folashade Omotade, a business woman and Mr. Fola Adeola, former managing director of Gtbank and politician.

In her comments, Princess Omotade noted that the country needed people like Prof. Sonaiya to lead her out of what she is going through presently.

“We need people of integrity. We are tired of criminals leading us. Everyday we wake up to look for what to eat and send our children to school, but how many role models do we have for our young ones?”

She urged Nigerians to stand behind Prof. Sonaiya as a capable hand to take the country to the next level.

In his own comments, Mr. Adeola praised the courage of Prof. Sonaiya in contesting the 2015 presidential elections and also coming out for the 2019 elections.

He argued that people could give reasons why they did not get involved in politics but pointed out that “if that is the case, we should stop complaining.”

The book was reviewed by Mrs. Ayo Obe, a foremost legal practitioner and Mr. Dare Babarinsa, a veteran journalist.




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