Nigeria’s lady of songs, activist journalist, Onyeka Onwenu has said the Igbo people will make no apologies for going to war with Nigeria, as according to her, Biafra was a war brought on them and they had to fight in self-defence. “never again conference’ organized by Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo socio-cultural group, to mark 50 years since the end of the Biafra war in 1970, also recalled how her widowed mother’s property was seized in Port Harcourt, River State after the war. She said Biafra is a very sensitive matter; very painful matter indeed. And yes, some of us have lived with some bitterness.
And we make no apologies about that, we were people in war, led into war, not by our own wishes or design, but in self-defence. No apologies Nigeria, no apologies to the world. “But here we are. I was born and raised in Port Harcourt. My father, Dike Onwenu was the first Arondizuogu man in the federal house, and he was representing Port Harcourt constituency. He was the principal of Enitonna High School. He was a brilliant man. But he died too early.
I’m from Abia state since I’m an Aro daughter. I’m from Imo State, Arodizuogu and I’m also from Anambra where my mother comes from. I can go there and live and nobody can stop me. I’m from Lagos State I married a Yoruba man. I have two Yoruba children’’ Onwenu said she fought the Biafra war and recalled many Children and aged people dying in her care. She regretted that the war has not yet ended, and warned those still fighting the Igbo’s to be careful. ’I fought the war as a young girl between 14 and 17 years, and I lost my relatives. I cried who died in my arms. I treated old people who took days to die. People were dying of hunger. But thank God we survived.’
‘’When my father died at 40, he was a politician and a principal. But he didn’t have much money. In those days, you had to keep your day job. Even if you were a member of the House of Representatives. Yes, my mother, an Anambra woman. Was a trader, she was richer than my father, so my dad will borrow money from her to buy land and he never paid back. You know how it is with husband and wife. ’At the end of the war, I couldn’t go back to Port Harcourt. My home was abandoned property. Those of you who come from Port Harcourt know my story. The home that a widow, my father had only laid the foundation when he died in an accident, the building that a widow built was seized as an abandoned property.’’ And just adjacent to us on hospital road were the Ikokus. In fact, I thought we were related because every family in Port Harcourt was together, you didn’t care were whether you were from Port Harcourt or not.
Every parent had the right to reprimand the child he/she saw misbehaving. Port Harcourt was a beautiful town, but we couldn’t get back to it. For me, civil war never ended it is still going on, my poor mother went back to port Harcourt to claim her property and was beaten to coma by people whom she had helped all her life; people she has helped to send them to school because she is an Igbo woman and now port Harcourt belonged to another group of people. ’They forgot that the Igbo made. It is still going no apologies have ever been made about that. The road that is now referred to as Harold Wilson Road used to be dike Onwenus, the ikokus, and the rest made in building up Port Harcourt.
‘’Here I am travelled outside, thanks to my sister who was Harvard at a time . I have tried with the little talent that God has given me, to use it to the betterment of my society and my country. But I were a Yoruba or a Hausa woman would probably have had more patronage. More help and more support than I have ever got for my self-help. Effort to raise this country up.
‘’But I am not asking anybody for anything. I put myself through school, my widowed mother did her best. I was working two jobs in America to put myself through school. I didn’t want to take Nigerian scholarship because they were giving it to everybody,’’ I am angry with Nigerian’s am angry at this government which seems to be letting us down. Am angry at us as a people, I am angry at my people, Ndigbo. Because he who is rejected doesn’t reject himself. Stop complaining and do it like that. We have always been able to do that. How did we build Imo Airport? Nobody built for us.
We spent many years raising money. I was travelling all over the country to do free concert to raise money for IMO Airport. Hat is who we have been. And I remember that in those days if the Igbo state union decides, that’s it, everybody follows the line and gets it done.