|Nationality Sierra Leone|
Role Political leader
Citizenship Republic of Moldova
Party National Liberal Party
|Religion Roman Catholic|
Residence Chisinau, Moldova
Name John Onoje
|Born 15 April 1959 (age 56) (1959-04-15) Sierra Leone|
Political party National Liberal Party (Moldova)
Alma mater Enugu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
John Onoje (born 15 April 1959 in Sierra Leone) is an activist from Chişinău, the Republic of Moldova. He is a notable activist and member of the National Liberal Party. Onoje is also a member of the Hyde Park public activism group presided by Oleg Brega In 2011, he signed up to run for President in Moldovan presidential election. Onoje's activity has been so well publicised that a party leader, Victor Şelin, proposed the withdrawal of his Moldovan citizenship on this basis. In a public speech, the PCRM's leader Vladimir Voronin called Onoje "a black, who'd just climbed down from a tree" (Rom "... au adus un negru din Africa ... din copac a coborat de acolo...). According to Amnesty International, Onoje is a victim of racism.
Onoje is a naturalised Moldovan citizen with a Sierra-Leonean background; he came to Moldova from Sierra Leone in 1999, to escape the civil war in his home country. Just in 2001, the UN Refugee Agency granted him the statute of refugee. While fighting to become a fully-fledged Moldovan, Onoje learnt the language and became a well-known face at the Chişinău open market, where he sells newspapers. After living as a refugee for over a decade, he was granted Moldovan citizenship on 17 January 2011.
On 9 December 2011, Onoje passed the medical examination to run in the Moldovan presidential election, 2011–2012. On 10 December 2011, he came at the Stephen the Great Monument to announce that he needs 15 signatures to run the 16 December elections. In December 2011, Victor Şelin proposed the withdrawal of his Moldovan citizenship. He is the owner of a company registered in Moldova, which sells newspapers.
Onoje has been a member of the National Liberal Party since 20 December 2011. On 21 November 2011, he protested in front of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova in the eve of the visit of Sergey Lavrov to Chişinău. On 2 January 2012, Onoje protested in front of the Russian Embassy in Chişinău against the death of Vadim Pisari, denouncing the lack of an official statement from the Moldovan government on Vadim Pisari's case. One day later, he joined another demonstration.
On 20 January 2012, Amnesty International stated that Vladimir Voronin, the head of the Party of Communists made racist statements addressed to Onoje. Two days earlier, he had participated in the meeting of a group near the Triumphal arch, Chişinău, while Voronin was addressing his supporters in the National Assembly Square. Voronin, the former President of the country said: “They [the ruling parties] brought here a Negro, who'd just climbed down from a tree, and now he's doing politics for them."
According to Amnesty International, on 19 January 2012, Onoje was beaten up in a toilet in an underpass in Chişinău, near a shopping centre in broad daylight.