Following the forced resignation of Jacob Zuma as the President of South Africa, owing to corruption allegations, the Imo State government says the statue it erected in honour of the embattled ex-President will not be pulled down.
Okorocha had in October hosted Zuma in Owerri, where his statue was unveiled; a chieftaincy title was conferred on him and a major road was named after him.
But, reacting to calls by some persons for the statue to be removed after his resignation, a statement on Friday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeudo, said Zuma, who he said did not receive any formal education, rose to play a major role in the freedom of the people of South Africa.
The statement partly read, “He 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 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 underprivileged children in Africa.”
Meanwhile, some citizens of the state have called on the governor to pull down the statue of Zuma, who was asked by his party, African National Congress, to resign over corruption allegations.
The Publicity Secretary of The Labour Party in Imo State, Uchechukwu Echerecho, urged the state government to pull down the statue with immediate effect.
He said, “It is the greatest joke of the century that Jacob Zuma’s statue is still standing. The Imo State government should pull it down with immediate effect. South Africans have rejected Jacob Zuma so it is wrong for him to be accepted in Nigeria, especially in Imo State.”
Also, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Damian Opara, said apart from pulling down the statue, the South African government should refund the money spent in hosting Zuma and erecting his statue in the state.