Twitter slates Nigeria's decision to honour Zuma with statue


Lanre Suraj, CSNAC's Chairman, said in a statement on Sunday the honour bestowed on Mr. Zuma would embolden the president to tell his people he is celebrated overseas.

Nigerian multi-billionaire and the governor for Imo State Owelle Okorocha also conferred the highest award in the state, the Imo State Award, on Zuma.

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha unveiled the bronze statue of Zuma on Saturday, while also awarding the South African leader-who faces almost 800 counts of corruption in his home country but maintains his innocence-the Imo Merit Award, the highest honor bestowed by the region.

Some have questioned whether a statue should be erected honoring Zuma, who has had a controversial tenure as South Africa's president.

Those present at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, to welcome the South African president included Mr. Okorocha; former president, Olusegun Obasanjo; former Jigawa State governor, Saminu Turaki; and Maurice Iwu, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, among others. There are also unconfirmed reports that the Imo State government is planning to unveil six more statues of African leaders.

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As well as the statue, Zuma was given a chiefaincy title and had a road named after him.

"Is Governor Okorocha not aware that Mr. Zuma has also been indicted for allowing an Indian family to influence the appointment of his cabinet members?"

This came as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has condemned the latest extra-judicial killing of another Nigerian, Ibrahim Olamilekan Badmus, aged 25, by South African Police, on October 3. Besides the corruption charges, South Africa's top court ruled in 2016 that Zuma had failed to uphold the constitution by using state funds to build a swimming pool and a cattle ranch-among other things-at his Nkandla home. "What Nigeria says you must note determines the lots of many".

He spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capital, while signing a memorandum of understanding between his foundation, The Jacobs G. Zuma Foundation, and The Rochas Foundation College System.

The governor said poverty nearly denied him education. "It's not the best PR exercise, if you ask me".