Cross sections of Nigerians have clearly registered their grievances at Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, after he unveiled a statue of Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.
Zuma is currently on a two-day working visit to Imo, where he has been conferred with chieftaincy title – Ochiagha di oha mma of Igbo land – and also given the Imo Merit Award – the highest honour in the state, with a street named after him.
It is understood that the unveiling ceremony was witnessed by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria.
In a statement issued to newsmen, Mr. Okorocha said the honour was conferred on Mr. Zuma for his love for education.
“Today, we have decided to honour 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. The only industry we have and we can truly be proud of is education in Imo State. This is another reason why we have chosen to honour you”, he said.
But what is stirring outrage on social media is the giant-sized statue of Zuma in the state as several critics are of the opinion that a state which is owing workers’ salaries should not be spending millions of naira on such craft.
Unconfirmed reports also have it that Okorocha may have spent a whopping N520 million to build the statue in honour of Jacob Zuma.
Several netizens on Twitter wondered what Zuma has done for Imo State or Nigeria to merit such honour, while others noted that despite the role the country played to bring the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end, Nigerians were being killed in the country on a regular basis and Zuma had done nothing to check that.
Here are some reactions below:
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
Abdulsalam: make you naa read oh
“Gov Rochas Okorocha just erected a statue of Jacob Zuma in Imo state”
OBJ & Shonekan: pic.twitter.com/druNTorhBZ
— Mr.┏̲O̶̲̅┓̲P ┏̲A̶̲̅┓ (@ogbeni_opa) October 15, 2017Loading...
Teacher: Define Stupidity?
Me: Rochas Okorocha spent 520m on South Africa’s president; Jacob Zuma’s statue in Imo State, Nigeria
— Made In Ibadan (@UrbanCulture06) October 15, 2017
Ur MCM Gov Rochas Okorocha spent 520M 2 erect statue of SA President Jacob Zuma in Owerri while owing workers salaries.
Pray 4 him gidigan
— Mr.┏̲O̶̲̅┓̲P ┏̲A̶̲̅┓ (@ogbeni_opa) October 15, 2017
South African social media platforms have been laughing at us for hours. Rochas Okorocha has disgraced ALL Nigerians not just Imo state pic.twitter.com/NoulrI2WGm
— Mr Stanley Nwabia (@MrStanleyNwabia) October 14, 2017
2 Nigerians killed & others injured by South African police.
No word from Jacob Zuma…yet Rochas Okorocha built a statue in his honour. pic.twitter.com/ir3N6EHar4
— Henry O (@Onos147) October 15, 2017
The Rochas Okorocha statue is not one, he has a lot more to unveil, we will see what will be left when APC is done with NIGERIA. pic.twitter.com/ElXtq66W93
— Oluyemi Fasipe ?? (@YemieFASH) October 15, 2017
Won’t be suprised if Rochas Okorocha brings Jacob Zuma to Abuja and rename Zuma rock to Jacob Zuma rock.
— SUPERHEATED STEAM (@dhe_Mechanic) October 15, 2017