Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has stated why the statue of the recently deposed President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma – which was erected by his administration – will not be pulled down.
Okorocha made this known yesterday in reaction to recent calls for the statue to be pulled down.
Zuma’s statue is among the seven statues erected by the Okorocha government.
In October 2017, the Imo state government erected a statue of the former South African president in Owerri, the state capital, a move that had was met with outrage by many Nigerians.
In the wake of Zuma’s resignation amid allegations of fraud, some Nigerians have demanded that the governor demolish the statue.
But in a statement issued yesterday by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeudo, the governor argued that the statue was erected when Zuma was the president of South Africa.
He said that the statue was erected in honour of Zuma, who, he said, did not receive any formal education but rose to play a major role in the freedom of South Africans.
The statement read: “On the Jacob Zuma’s statue in Owerri and the resignation of the man few days ago as president of South Africa, the statue will not be pulled down.”
“The statue was erected when the man was a sitting president. We should also be keen in his life story.”
“For instance, a man who didn’t receive any formal education but rose to play a major role in the freedom of his people and also became president of one of the leading African nations calls for sober reflection. He also resigned honourably. And after his coming to Imo where he spoke against the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, the situation came under control to a large extent.”
“Zuma came to Imo to partner with the Rochas Foundation College for Africa. He didn’t come for politics. And even after his departure as president, he would still go ahead to make his contributions to the education of the less privileged children in Africa.”