Nigeria: APC Okorocha Builds Zuma’s N520M Statue Amidst Hardship In Imo State
More woes are befalling Nigerian ruling party, All Progressive Congress, with recent activities orchestrated by its foremen.
Last week, a claim by World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim indicted President Muhammadu Buhari whom he said ordered his team to concentrate development in the Northern region of the country where he (Buhari) hails from.
The development generated reactions among the notable people of the country who were surprised that a man who came into power with the promised of unity and eradication of corruption will demonstrate such ethnic biased and selfish interest even at the international level.
As if that was not enough, the governors of Imo state, APC chieftain, Mr. Rochas Okochas honored the South African president, Mr. Jacob Zuma with a statue built for N520 million. He also honored the South African President with a road named after him in the state.
Meanwhile, Okorocha currently owes workers in Imo state 22 months’ salary.
The development, which was gathered giving leaders of the party across the country, concerns, lead to criticism for the governors by Nigerians, especially among the Imo state indigenes. They believed the governor’s decision would subject the state to impoverishment.
Citizens, who spoke with Caracal Reports, said the action embarked upon by the APC governor was a clear indication that he supported the recent xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South African. Most people blamed the decision on the governor’s lack of education and poor judgment.
According to them, there is no reason why any Nigerian should bestow honor on President Zuma, who could not condemn the barbaric killings of Nigerians living in South Africa.
Civil Society Network Against Corruption, a civic group in the country, while reacting to the development, condemned the Imo state governor, Mr. Rochas Okocha, for honoring South African President with a statue at the detriment of the people.
The group also said celebrating a corrupt president like Jacob Zuma is against the gospel of the party, which came into power with the promise to fight corruption.
The chairperson of the group, Olanrewaju Suraju, said: “It was wrong of Okorocha to honor Zuma who had been indicted for corruption in South Africa in that manner”.
“I wondered whether by so doing Okorocha was celebrating Zuma who has been found guilty of corruption by courts in South Africa and has been ordered to refund the $500,000.00 stolen from the public treasury.”
He added that “Is the APC governor not aware that South Africans are marching on the streets to demand ‘Zuma Must Go’ over his corrupt practices?”
In the same spirit, Nigerian former minister of aviation, Mr. Fani Kayose said “Okorocha has erred the spirit of Nigerians that were killed in a xenophobic attack in South Africa recently.
“Nigerians are murdered by South African security forces every day yet the clown in Imo state builds a statue in honor of President Zuma. Igbos were being murdered by Nigerian security forces every day yet that same clown in Imo state continues worship Buhari”.
A former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, while speaking with Caracal Reports said the Imo state governor must have misplaced priority for celebrating Jacob Zuma.
According to him, “I don’t think he knew the importance of what he did. He just did what will affect his political career in the country. He ought to have consulted people before he could take such decision. We have better heroes in Africa that worth celebrated not like a man who has issues around his neck”.
Meanwhile, A chieftain of Labor Party in Nigeria, Mr. Denja Yaqub said the honor bestowed on Zuma depicted that Okorocha was in support of the xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South Africa recently.
“To me, it was a misplaced priority celebrated of corruption by Okorocha because Zuma is currently facing 183 criminal charges in South Africa.
The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, last Friday, ruled that he should be tried for 783 crimes among which majority were corruption related.
” So I don’t know why a governor who is owing workers salary will decide to use over N500 million to erect a statue for one of the most corrupt presidents in Africa.
“Nigerians didn’t celebrate Zuma, it was Okorocha that celebrated him, and meanwhile, the majority of people that were attacked in South Africa were from the Eastern part of Nigeria. They were majorly Igbo people and some of them were from Imo state. So for him to honor Zuma, it means he approved what the South African youths were doing against our people in South Africa, and this should be condemned by all Nigerians, indeed all Africans.
I think in a way, Okorocha is an inept human being, a man with lack of knowledge and patriotism, a man that does not care about his people, that does not care about how people are treated, that can honor even a man who killed his own mother”.
However, the Imo state governor, Mr. Rochas Okorochas said he honored Zuma for his love for education.
“We have decided to honor you for your love for education, though you were deprived in your early days in life but you are working to make sure that every poor child went to School. Your love for education to us is the connection between you and government and the people of Imo State”, Okorocha said.
At the unveiling of the statue in Owerri, Imo state, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former governors, chiefs, and distinguished members of the state were in attendance.