Nigeria’s music legend, Onyeka Onwenu, has warned against division in the country, saying that “Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable”.
Onwenu, however, said if the country breaks up, she would prefer to return to the South-East.
She said this during a virtual pre-book launch briefing ahead of the release of her memoir ‘My Father’s Daughter’, billed for October 1.
The music icon called on the people of the South East, especially those in the diaspora, to develop the region.
She said, “It doesn’t take away whatever you are doing in Lagos, Abuja, or Port Harcourt. You are free to live and do business wherever you are but remember back home, we are being marginalised for a long time. And our people have always done things for themselves.
We built the Imo Airport. I was part of the process. It remains the only airport in the country that was built by the citizens and handed over to the Federal Government.
My father went to school abroad, people in his home town collected money and supported him. That’s how we do things, we are communal people. So, I’m not afraid to go back home.”
When asked for her views on the agitation for self-sovereignty by some groups in the country, the human rights activist said, “If that happens (referring to Nigeria breaking up), I will go back to the South-East because I want to go back home. And even if we don’t split, I want to do so much there.”
She charged Nigerians to play less on tribalism by focusing on the positives inherent in the different ethnic groups that make up the country.
Using her marriage to a Yoruba Muslim that produced two children as a reference, the 68-year-old music star enjoined every Nigerian to uphold the country’s unity and stop insulting and denigrating each other
We are blessed with the richness of our culture and everyone should see themselves as one and not let divisions break the country,” she added.