#AskRemi was a hashtag on twitter that caught my eyes. Who is Remi and what is there to ask her? I got curious. Remi turns out to be 60 year old female presidential candidate of KOWA party. Remi Sonaiya is A retired professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics whose abode was in Ile-ife, Osun state and for the Professor, she isn’t contesting because she is a woman, she is contesting because she believes the nation deserves better leadership which mainstream parties are not offering.
“I came into the race fully aware that the weight of public awareness was more behind the mainstream parties. I believed however that the nation was ripe to consider an entirely different proposition; an inspirational proposition. I have said in interviews that ordinary people should be able to aspire to political office. More than that, however, I want to inspire decent, hardworking, ordinary folk to roll up their sleeves and get involved. Criticism and demands for accountability are great; but they are no longer enough.
This was the reason that I said “enough”; retired very early and looked for a party to join. Why not one of the mainstream parties? Because they are both filled with persons who are responsible for where we are as a country today, because ideology and principle should matter to both aspirants and their followers, because it’s unlikely they would have looked beyond where I’m from, where I’ve spent the most of my life and my gender”
One should salute Remi’s courage for daring to run for presidency in Nigeria, where every candidate must have been anointed by some men-god called party leaders. Political aspirants are not necessarily chosen because you are capable, some other factors determine whose name makes it to INEC, how long you have been around, the degree of affection the party-leaders have for you and maybe how fat your purse is.
It’s hard if you are not in the mainstream parties; it’s very hard, ask Pat Utomi. His impeccable credentials Nigerians did not notice, he was considered by many including myself to be the most brilliant among prospective presidential candidates but he was an outsider and his feat at the polls was nothing significant to worth remembering.
I voted Pat Utomi in 2007 because of my conscience, I could not thumbprint for any other candidate, in a saner society, they should never have the courage to go to the polls with Pat Utomi…but this is Nigeria.
Prof Remi Sonaiya is the outsider now in 2015, how far would she go? does she have the resources to register her presence in the minds of the people with less than 35 days to the Presidential elections? is KOWA known at the grassroots? What structures do they have in place? It already seems only social media users would know Remi Sonaiya’s ambition because she may never be able to tour the nation as expected of Presidential Aspirants.
As an outsider challenging the big powers, ambitions and goodwill would never be enough. One would need big money bags to establish structures, create awareness, mobilize supporters and volunteers and to sell the big dream. Politics would always be a game of numbers, one has to reach the masses to get their support.
A vote for Remi would be a vote for goodwill but it counts for nothing but one’s conscience alone. The polls is still for the big powers.