Friday, March 09, 2018 7.00AM / Proshare WebTV
Born (March 2, 1955) in Ibadan, Oyo State Prof Oluremi Comfort Sonaiya is a Nigerian Politician, Educationist, Writer and a Professor of French Language.
She was the only female Presidential candidate in the 2015 Presidential elections, representing the KOWA political party.
It was a learning experience for her as she polled a total of 13,076 votes to finish 12th in the last elections.
Remi Sonaiya attended St Luke’s Demonstration School(primary) and St Anne’s School(secondary) all in Ibadan, Oyo State.
She graduated from the University of Ife(Now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he studied French language.
The University Scholar furthered her studies with a Master’s Degree in French Literature, from the prestigious Cornell University, in the United States.
Her passion to distinguish herself saw her pursuing and completing her PhD programme in Linguistics, from Cornell University.
Sonaiya started her career as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University rising steadily to attain the academic rank of a Professor of French Language and Applied Lingustics in 2001.
Throughout her career in the academia she gained vast experience and exposure in leadership and administration.
She was the member of the Project Drafting Committee for the Establishment of the Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, Lagos State.
Remi has served as a French interpreter for international conferences since 1989, including sub-regional summits like that of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS).
In the course of her work, she received Recipient of various international research grants and fellowships, including the French Government Grant for Advanced Researchers and the German Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship.
Prof Sonaiya retired as a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University in 2010, to join politics and was the National Public Relations Officer of the Party, before emerging the flagbearer of the party for the 2015 general elections.
As an Educationist and Writer, she has published several books which include Culture and Identity on Stage: Social-political Concerns and Enactments in Contemporary African Performing Arts(2001), Language Matters: Exploring the Dimensions of Multilingualism (2007), A Trust to Earn – Reflections on Life and Leadership in Nigeria (2010), Igniting Consciousness – Nigeria and Other Riddles (2013) and Daybreak Nigeria – This Nation Must Rise! (2014).
Despite losing the 2015 general elections, Sonaiya has remained focused and steadfast in her party by not defecting but rather building its politic base in the country.
She has a large heart and as a woman of a strong Christian persuasion, supports several church and para-church organisations, including the Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical students (NIFES), the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust, Calvary Ministry, Great Commission Movement of Nigeria, etc. She has been a bible study teacher in her church for many years and is on the international faculty of Haggai Institute, Hawaii, USA, where she lectures on Stewardship.
Over the years she has been touched by the plight of all who suffer exclusion and other forms of injustice: children, women, the disabled, the poor and the unschooled. She is concerned that the young people of Nigeria have to bear the brunt of the prevailing culture of corruption and pay for it in mass failure in their educational pursuits, very high levels of unemployment, and feelings of anxiety and hopelessness concerning their future.
Sonaiya is a testament to why more women should participate in Nigerian politics, and has been a shining light in her conduct.
Her vision for Nigeria is “A nation where every single citizen truly belongs; where no individual suffers avoidable exclusion; where the common good is pursued by all; where the citizens live dignified lives in a clean, orderly and safe environment, not subjected to needless deprivation due to the actions or inactions of their leaders I envision a Nigeria where all the available resources, both human and natural, work to enhance the international standing of the country and cause the African to walk tall on the global scene”.
Remi Sonaiya who has a renewed 2019 Presidential ambition in the KOWA party, has a mission “To employ all the resources at her disposal in the pursuit of her vision; to encourage all Nigerians to believe in and devote their energies to creating a social movement which will lead to the realisation of their collective dream of a new Nigeria; and to reclaim politics as an avenue for good governance and service delivery to the citizens, who will demand accountability from the players in that terrain”.
The KOWA party leader is married to Babafunso Sonaiya a Professor of Animal Science and they are blessed with two children, one son, one daughter and grandchildren.