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CSO Condemns erection of Zuma’s statue in Imo

Partners for Electoral Reform, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has flayed the erection of a statue of South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, in Owerri by Imo Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha. Condemning the action, the organisation’s Chairman, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Zuma’s legacy had not attained the level of a statue being erected in his honour in Imo. The statue is believed to cost N520 million to produce and erect. “Okorocha’s action is not well thought-out; I think the visit of Zuma is pure liquid corruption Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gains. “Zuma came to sign MoU with Rochas Foundation, a personal philanthropic initiative of his, not that of the government of Imo. “Only God knows what the intention of Okorocha is in patronising Zuma the way he has done,’’ he said. According to Nwagwu, there is not one initiative of the South African Government in the whole of Imo, not a road, not a hospital, not a school built by South Africa Government. “So, on what basis are we expending the resources of the state on such a statue? If you ask, he will tell you it is not the state’s money. “Alright, where is his factory? Let him show us the factory with which he generates the money with which he will host the president of another country as the governor of a state.” The activist said that the action diminished and brought pogrom to not just people of Imo but Nigerians. He said that South Africans were making mockery of Nigerians because their Supreme Court had called Zuma to go and face corruption charges. He said that if the governor had built a statue for his own father, it might have been more pardonable than bringing a Zuma who had contributed absolutely nothing to Nigeria. According to him, if anything, it is South Africans that should be celebrating Nigerians because of our contributions toward dismantling apartheid in their country. Nwagwu said that instead of South Africa honouring Nigeria’s past presidents and leaders who helped them to dismantle apartheid in their country, “it is a Nigerian governor honouring South Africa’s president’’. He said that if it was the statue of the late sage, Nelson Mandela, it may have made a better impression on Nigerians, Africa and the world. According to him, the one Okorocha just did with Zuma had no basis because it is not a well deserved honou

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