The Imo State Government under the leadership of Chief Owelle Rochas Okorocha has mounted a statue of the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma in Owerri, the Imo State capital in a move that has been roundly criticised by indigenes of the state.
President Zuma was on a three-day visit since Friday to Owerri where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU with the Imo State Government. A chieftaincy title was also conferred on the South African President who’s been accused of several corruption cases in his homeland.
A road was named after Zuma in Owerri with the governor also honouring him with an Imo Merit Award, the highest award in the state given to distinguished personalities that have done great things for the state and in addition, a giant statue was erected to cap what has been a torrid period for the indigenes of Imo State who are still left befuddled with the move by the state government despite many ongoing challenges in the state.
Several indigenes of the state have aired their displeasure with the move by Governor Okorocha as they claim South Africa has not been a friendly country to Nigerians, especially Nigerians of Igbo origin who have been victims of homicide cases and other criminal activities against them. The indigenes who have decried the state government’s move as being unnecessary and just another means of displaying wealth yet with a catalogue of pressing issues being discussed in the state with no apparent solutions.
Jacob Zuma has been singled out previously for making some corrupt moves most notably building a house worth $20m in his village in South Africa. The Imo State government are yet to release a statement on the main purpose of the visit as criticisms keep coming in.