In the program, Future Impact 2015: 1st Remi Raji writing contest on the 5th of September 2015 organised by the Reflectors in Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, Cooperative Hall, Ile-Ife, Osun State; in attendance was the only woman presidential candidate in the most recent elections in the whole nation, a professor and Linguist– French and applied Linguistics, Professor Remi Sonaiya.
She in her speech on the topic “Nigeria beyond 2015: were do we go from here” during the program firstly apologised to the generations of today on behalf of the nation itself that they supposed to be in a better luxury and prosperous country now with all our sufficient resources but does nothing or less with it till now, she said she felt someone has to do that although perhaps not in the position to do it nor if that changes anything at all. She said since May 29: “I don’t think things have changed.” She posits where to go from here is “we must move decisively towards development, move into a society that is just and equitable.”, she listed various issues and “complaints” in Nigeria and these are the Boko haram insurgency, insecurity caused, roads, electricity, drudgery, health, poverty, education among others; she lamented this while she condemns the show of riches by some Nigerians as obscene rate of riches and these are mostly politicians and its likes who lavish the people’s money while they see them wallow in poverty as they pass by in their Jeeps. She stated that the “selfishness and insane level of greed” prevents our leaders from doing what is supposed be done. She also said that it has been said before as it seems: “Nigerian leaders hate their people and their has been foreign helpful investors who saw this and packed their things leaving us to our faith. She then pointed to the situation where a public/political office holder steals 6 billion naira: “such person must be mad”, if a person could do this, then: “you must be really mad” “ridiculous!” she emphasized. She however commended the administration of His excellency,president Muhammadu Buhari, the present president of the federal republic of Nigeria who she ran alongside and supposed some positivities in his time so far but still described this as based on hope, that his government would hopefully actually do the right thing and bring the so much desired change to Nigeria.
Prof.Sonaiya in her speech addressed the women and ladies concerning their active participation in politics, she said: “it is not a privilege but a duty for you to be there.” She affirmed that women and ladies of the country would be doing the country a lot of harm and bad by not participating in her politics and also would be depriving the country of a lot and “balance”.
She also called the generations of now and “leaders of tomorrow” that they have a lot to do, that Nigeria requires and yearns for them in her politics. She said Nigerian youths have really tried in the entertainment industry –music, movies, comedy etc and sports but what of politics.
She said: “it should not be state of origin but state of residence” when she was asked why she didn’t start from a lower office her political aspiration, she said if she had at all decided to go for the house of assembly representing Ife, Osun state, she wouldn’t qualify as she is from Oyo state despite the fact that she’s lived in ife for more than 40 donkey years now. Hence, modification and amending of our political and social policies.
Professor Remi Sonaiya concluded by affirming “where we must go from here”– “light up our streets and homes”, vibrant general public is highly required and imperative, demanding accountability from our leaders and not do as we always do by waiting for 4years to elapse, kick out and in again, that we should demand our leader’s accountability when in office and always. she said distributing some grinding machines to the women or “keke maruwa”/taxis to the men isn’t governance, we must learn to reject all these (insults) and ask for our rights. She condemned some women crisis such as early marriage, rape, widows plight with her late husband’s family etc and advocates protection of their rights. She advises greatly the respect for human dignity extended to every persons without exception nor discrimination and gave an instance that all laws of the US protects a foreign/refugee house girl under an American family if maltreated. She then hammers on the participation of the youths and not the 40 year(s) old youth policy of our political parties and leaders of today; “I’m proud to say that our youth leader in Kowaa party is 27years(s) old”. She then finally pointed out that humility is imperatively and highly needed in leadership. “We need you and are expecting you in the Politics of the nation. See you there” she said challenging the Nigerian youths.
In subsequent times, a veteran media practitioner replied the question on the role of media incombating insurgency in Nigeria and so on in relation to how they affect the general public, he replied that the media of course plays an important and significant role in “these” but anything shouldn’t be posted by media practitioners, “get your facts right. Don’t just do anything to get people on your side”. He said lots of people operate blogs and so on and traffic has been said to be the currency/money in it but this shouldn’t be, information is life to people and a he who is not informed is deformed. The public should be informed adequately. Other activities like debates, price giving for the writing contest was done and the video thriller presentation of the new Tunde Kelani: Mainframe Productions movie “Dazzling mirage”. In attendance was Professor Remi Raji himself, Professor Remi Sonaiya as known, Tunde Kelani in absentia due to the death of a member of his crew (may his soul rest in peace) and other great people of intellect. The student Union President, Akande Omotayo(TY) with the vice president, Oladunjoye Opeyemi(Oprah) were also present in the another edition of the memorable program “Future Impact Conference 2015” by the Reflectors of Obafemi Awolowo University.
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