Onyeka Onwenu was the Director General National Centre for Women Development since 2013. She was among the Director Generals recently dismissed by the Federal Government.
She wrote an article, which was published in a national newspaper, explaining her role as DG at the centre and what she passed through while leaving the place.
Her words, “They organized some staff, mostly Northerners invited the Press and set about to disgrace themselves. By mid-afternoon, while the Heads of Departments were putting together the handover notes, they seized the keys to my official car, even with my personal items still inside.
Threats began to fly. “That Ibo woman must, we will disgrace her.” Their Chief organizer, the Acting DG, went about whipping up ethnic sentiments against me. Late 2015, the same officer had gone to the Center’s Mosque to ask for the issue of a Fatwa against me, claiming that I was working against the interest of the North. We nipped that in the bud by calling a town hall meeting and asking that proof be provided.
The Fatwa was denied and peace reigned for a while. Police were called into the Center to escort me out and avoid bloodshed as I disengaged. Eventually, in the midst of insults and name calling, with an angry baying crowd, some of whom were brought in from outside,
I entered my official car and left. At no time during this melee did I threaten to sue Mr. President for asking me to disengage. Why would I? Is it not within his authority. Even if it were not, is the Center my personal property. I had done my best, and if it was time to go,
it was that simple. Life continues. I had a thriving career before my appointment. The Center did not make me. I have so much to do. I am a multitalented, multifaceted and multitasking child of God. By His grace, the future is greater.
So what is the problem? Let me say here that The Federal Government should really look into the Parastatals and take note of the fact that many people who work on them do not have the requisite qualification. Many contribute nothing, and many see their job as a personal entitlement.
They are owed because Nigeria belongs to them and them alone. Somehow, these people were given the impression that they could attempt to do what they did to me, and nothing would happen. That is very sad indeed. The Ministry also has a case to answer.
They helped to create that impression. A situation where the Ministry could invite a Management Staff to a trip abroad without informing the DG, and the Staff would only inform her principal via txt message, from the Airport as she is leaving the country, creates an atmosphere of indiscipline, and anything goes.
The Ministry should restrain itself to its spelt out function and not undermine the authority of the DG