Okorocha under fire for erecting Jacob Zuma's statue in Imo

Cheryl Sanders
October 17, 2017

"We as a forum are not against our governments at all levels to recognised or immotarlised other African leaders but the said Jacob Zuma does not have the moral standard to received such honour".

Nonetheless, the state governor also conferred on President Zuma the Imo Merit Award which is the highest award in the state conferred on distinguished personalities who have made a difference in the development of their communities.

Aside from the rumoured extravagant cost of erecting the monument-which comes at a time of extreme economic hardship, and likewise, the reported unpaid salaries of Imo State workers, the logic behind Governor Rochas' immortalization of the embattled South African leader, eludes the bulk of Nigerians.

Rochas Okorocha‚ billionaire‚ education philanthropist and governor of the Imo State‚ unveiled the bronze statue and named a street after Zuma during his two-day visit to Nigeria which concluded on Sunday.

Some have questioned whether a statue should be erected honoring Zuma, who has had a controversial tenure as South Africa's president.

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Mr. Zuma must face prosecution over nearly 800 charges of corruption relating to an arms deal in the 1990s.

Okorocha said that the statue honors Zuma's "love for education" and that the South African president was working to make sure poor children could attend school.

Last year, a South African Court ruled that Mr. Zuma violated the constitution by using public funds to upgrade his private residence, leading to the president apologizing to his countrymen.

In one tweet, Mr. Adesanmi said Mr. Okorocha should have taken the South African president to the graves of Nigerians shot to death by South African police. "What Nigeria says you must note determines the lots of many".

"We are not surprised that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was on hand to welcome and celebrate his friend, President Zuma".

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