Oluremi Comfort Sonaiya is a Nigerian politician, educationalist and writer. She was Nigeria’s only female presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential election under the  KOWA Party , she has also declared her desire to run for president again in 2019 under the same party.

Early LIfe

Remi Sonaiya, full name Oluremi Comfort Sonaiya was born March 2, 1955 in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state.

Education/Career

She completed her primary and secondary school education at St. Luke’s Demonstration School, Ibadan, and St. Anne’s School, Ibadan.

In 1977, she graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where she studied French.She later obtained a Master of Arts degree in French Literature from Cornell University in the United States, and another master’s degree in Linguistics from a university in Nigeria in 1984.

She returned to Cornell in 1988 to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics. After which she returned to continue lecturing in the Department of Foreign Languages of the Obafemi Awolowo University which she had joined in 1982 as an Assistant Lecturer. She became a professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics in 2001.

Political Career

In 2010, she retired from her position at Obafemi Awolowo University and became politically active, joining the KOWA Party where she was voted its National Public Relations Officer and went on to be the party’s candidate for the 2015 Presidential election.At the election, she received 13,076 votes and finished in 12th place.

Read:#IWD2018: 10 Nigerian Women Whose Works Can’t Be Forgotten In A Hurry

Achievements

Mrs. Sonaiya contributes regularly to Nigerian media discourse.  she is currently a columnist with The Niche, a weekly (Sunday) newspaper. She has published three books on the Nigerian (and African) condition: 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).

She also a recipient of various international research grants and fellowships, including the French Government Grant for Advanced Researchers and the German Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship and the first Nigerian to be appointed as the Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a position she occupied from 2008 to 2014.  In 1986 she received the American Association of University Women.

Personal Life

Mrs. Sonaiya is married to Babafunso Sonaiya, a professor of Animal Science, and they have two grown children and two grandsons.