The 2015 Presidential candidate of the KOWA Party, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, on Thursday urged women not to be scared of taking up political positions by 2019.
Sonaiya, a professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, made the plea at a book presentation detailing her travails in politics.
The book, titled “One Woman’s Race’’, comprises four chapters and 135 pages.
According to reporters, Sonaiya was the only female among the 13 presidential candidates who contested in the 2015 general elections.
She pulled 13,000 votes.
“I will tell you that part of what has been keeping women out of politics is the fear of violence that is always associated with politicking and campaigning during elections.
“So, I urge women to push further, conquer the fear, get up and play their part as female. It is a duty we owe our country.
“Also, many women do not have the kind of money that Nigeria’s politics require; but things are gradually changing; our perceptions are also changing,’’ Sonaiya said.
She regretted that women were denied and shortchanged in the governance of the country saying deliberate actions should be taken to bring in more of them.
According to her, women have the strength to contribute to issues.
She expressed joy that more women are coming out to contest, saying this was a pointer that things will soon change for good.
Sonaiya, however, urged those vying for political positions of any sort not to borrow money to run elections, saying if they did, they could be wrecked for life.
In his remark, the founder of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr Fola Adeola, congratulated Sonaiya for the bold steps she took in 2015.
Adeola said that her race was not just for the women folk, but for every Nigerian.
“But I have a problem with the title of the book; I did not think it was a one woman’s race. It was a race.
“Sonaiya is a bonafide Nigerian, qualified to run; she decided to run and she ran.
“She did not just run for the ninety million women, she ran on behalf of the so many children in this country, she ran for me and every other person,’’ Adeola said.
While reviewing the book, Mr Dare Babarinsa, a columnist and publisher, said the book thoroughly summarised Sonaiya’s experience.
He said the book gave insights to what it would take for anybody to run for the highest office of the land.
“Sonaiya is the first, apart from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to put her experience in politics into writing.
“The 135-page book gives a summary of why Sonaiya ran for the highest office and why she wants to run again, and so, it is a must read by all,’’ Babarinsa said.
NAN reports that five women have declared their intention to run for the presidency in 2019.