The presidential candidate of KOWA Party in the upcoming 2015 general elections, Professor Remi Sonaiya, paid Nigeria’s Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, a visit at his Freedom Park office on the Lagos Island on Tuesday, 17th March 2015. While thanking Professor Soyinka for making time to receive her, Professor Sonaiya reminded him that their last face-to-face meeting had taken place several decades ago at Cornell University, USA, while Soyinka was a visiting professor at the institution and Sonaiya herself was undergoing her postgraduate studies.
It was a happy ‘reunion’ and a meeting of intellectuals as Professor Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, daughter of the Nobel Laureate, was also present. Professor Remi Sonaiya, the first woman to ever qualify as a presidential candidate in Nigeria, used the occasion of her visit to sincerely thank Professor Soyinka for his immense contribution to Nigeria over the years and the personal sacrifices he had made on account of the nation. She then presented to the Nobel Laureate three of her books: A Trust to Earn: Reflections on Leadership and Life in Nigeria (2010); Igniting Consciousness: Nigeria and Other Riddles (2013); and Daybreak Nigeria: This Nation Must Rise!(2014).
The short visit was rounded up with Professor Soyinka conducting Remi Sonaiya and her team around the Freedom Park, once the actual site of a colonial prison, and where a very important part of our national history is currently preserved. Professor Soyinka appreciated Governor Babatunde Fashola who readily accepted the proposal to transform that historical space into a memorial and meeting place of ideas. Although the tour lasted only a few minutes, its impact on all who were present may well last a lifetime.
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