Embattled South African President Jacob Zuma was honoured on Saturday with a giant statue, a road named after him, a chieftaincy title and an award during a visit to Nigeria’s southeast state of Imo, sparking a lot of outrage.
A bronze statue of President Jacob Zuma unveiled and a road named after President Zuma as part of the honour by the Imo State in Nigeria pic.twitter.com/wSKrjg4w55— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) October 15, 2017
The Governor of the Imo State in Nigeria, Mr Owelle Okorocha conferred on President Jacob Zuma the Imo Merit Award. pic.twitter.com/RAUKJ4FAn8— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) October 15, 2017
The Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha has come under a lot of attack for honouring Zuma who is facing multiple charges of corruption after surviving multiple impeachment processes in his country.
Is Governor Okorocha not aware that Mr. Zuma has been found guilty of corruption by the courts in South Africa and has been ordered to refund the $500,000 stolen from the public treasury to expand his private house to accommodate his many wives?
The unveiling was done in the state capital Owerri during a ceremony attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former governors, chiefs and distinguished members of the state.
A civil society group against corruption condemned the governor for the gesture which they described as embarrassing in the face of the corruption allegations against Zuma.
“It is embarrassing that a state government controlled by the All Progressives Congress which is fighting corruption could play host to Mr. Zuma, allegedly a corrupt leader in the current assembly of heads of state in the African Union and portray him as a hero before a group of African youth,” said Lanre Suraj, the chairman of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption.
“Is Governor Okorocha not aware that Mr. Zuma has been found guilty of corruption by the courts in South Africa and has been ordered to refund the $500,000 stolen from the public treasury to expand his private house to accommodate his many wives?” he added in a statement.
The group said it expected the federal government to call the governor to order. They demanded an apology from Okorocha for “promoting President Zuma who has been adjudged to be a corrupt leader by the South African judiciary”.
South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a High Court ruling to reinstate nearly 800 corruption charges filed against Jacob Zuma before he became president.
75-year-old Zuma has faced persistent corruption allegations, most recently over leaked emails that suggest his friends the Gupta family may have used their influence to secure lucrative state contracts for their companies.
The honour of Zuma in Nigeria was also condemned by a cross-section of Nigerians including the opposition and former government officials.
Nigerians are murdered by South African security forces every day yet the clown in Imo state builds a statue in honor of Pres. Zuma.— Femi Fani-Kayode (realFFK) October 15, 2017
Igbos are murdered by Nigerian security forces every day yet that same clown in Imo state continues worship
Slavery is a curse!
Rochas Okorocha should have just stayed a benevolent billionaire. A statue for Jacob Zuma is the height of insanity at a time like this.— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) October 15, 2017
2 Nigerians killed & others injured by South African police.— Henry O (@Onos147) October 15, 2017
No word from Jacob Zuma…yet Rochas Okorocha built a statue in his honour. pic.twitter.com/ir3N6EHar4
Rochas Okorocha celebrating Jacob Zuma who hasnt done anything tangible to stop Xenophobic attack on Nigerians is shameful. Imo State i hail pic.twitter.com/yaIxS6z1q7— Bhadmus Hakeem (@Bhadoosky) October 15, 2017
Is Jacob Zuma helping Rochas Okorocha of Imo State Launder Money? Hmmmmm, I am digging!— Jackson Ude (@jacksonpbn) October 15, 2017
If you think building Jacob Zuma's statue was outrageous, wait until Gov. Okorocha unveils the statue next to Zuma. It may be Nkiru Slyvanus pic.twitter.com/8KLwpKZukp— Dr. Njakiri Damages (@DrDamages) October 15, 2017
It would have been better If Rochas Okorocha built a huge Statue for Nelson Mandela instead of Jacob Zuma!!!— Soledoye I Oluwaseun (@misterboboskie) October 16, 2017
Am confused ?
Teacher: Define Stupidity?— Made In Ibadan (@UrbanCulture06) October 15, 2017
Me: Rochas Okorocha spent 520m on South Africa's president; Jacob Zuma's statue in Imo State, Nigeria
Okorocha spent millions on a statue of South Africa President Zuma.— Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) October 15, 2017
Okorocha is owing Imo state pensioners 22 months pension arrears.
Okorocha's Xmas tree cost N600m.— AJALA (@UNCLE_AJALA) October 16, 2017
Okorocha Erected a statue for Zuma with N520m.
Same Okorocha is owing workers & pensioners in Imo state.
Today I learned that there's a man called Rochas Okorocha. Corrupt as Zuma, same head shape as Zuma— Rudolf Sebyeng (@iAmKingducer) October 15, 2017
Rochas Mumu Okorocha didn't even see Nelson Freedom Fighter Mandela statue to erect, it's Jacob Clueless Zuma that he erected.— King Absolute (@KingAbsolute_) October 15, 2017
What’s wrong with Rochas Okorocha? What has Jacob Zuma contributed to the development of Imo State or even Nigeria? Unfortunate leaders.— Oba (@OlaseniOladejo) October 15, 2017