Onwenu: Why I was sacked As DG | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Onwenu: Why I was sacked As DG

Posted: Feb 18, 2016 at 7:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Following the removal of over 24 heads of Federal Government parastals and agencies by the President Muhammadu Buhari early this week, a former Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Onyeka Onwenu, says she was fired because of her nationality.
Onwenu is Igbo from the South-East.
The former DG, popularly known as Onyeka, is an international singer, who came to limelight in the 1980s and piloted the agency for about three years.
Onyeka’s claims over her sack may heighten anti-Buhari sentiments among critics who allege that Buhari is against the Igbo and those who supported former President Goodluck Jonathan or worked for him.
She said she did her best under very difficult conditions she met on ground such as paucity of funds to operate and low morale and lack of commitment of workers.
The former DG said she turned around the staff and they became passionate about the work, appreciating that the changes they thought were not possible were happening right before them but there was a remnant that felt the centre was their personal preserve and that the position of Director-General should only go to someone from their part of the country.
She disclosed that she was targeted and abused for being an Igbo woman who came to give jobs to and elevate her people while sidelining them.
“When these detractors could not provide answers to the spate of improvements we were bringing, they resorted to sabotage and blackmail,” she laments.
Giving account of her stewardship she says: “I have never in my life been an unfair person. I never favoured any group. I carried everybody along. But I did not put up with deliberate incompetence and a refusal to learn, an attitude of entitlement, which some people displayed. We brought back a level of professionalism and commitment to deliver on our mandate.”
Onyeka said when the call came for her to disengage from the centre, she took it in good faith and with thanksgiving to the Almighty but some people organised some staff mostly northerners and the press to disgrace her.
“I am a Nigerian citizen who should enjoy the rights attendant to that privilege. I am Onyigbo and proud of it. I respect myself and I love and respect all for who they are. We are all God’s children. No one has the right to insult or abuse me or deprive me of my rights. Nigeria will not hold unless and until we all come to that realization,” she asserts.