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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

The police said that an Indian man who tried to protect his daughter from sexual harassment and complained to authorities has been burnt alive. Police officer RA Pandey said that Narmada Sahu, 45, died at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh state late on Sunday. Pandev said that the victim’s relatives alleged that his 16-year-old daughter was routinely harassed by a neighbour and that Sahu complained to police in August. He said the neighbour demanded that Sahu withdraw the complaint. Police said on Sunday the neighbour barged into the victim’s house with two friends, poured kerosene on him and sett him on fire. “We have arrested the three attackers, lodged a criminal case and launched investigations,” Pandey said. Sexual violence has been a focus of public attention in India since the gang-rape and murder of a student in New Delhi in 2012.

Price of garri, a staple in the country, has dropped by more than 60 per cent in Enugu within four months. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who conducted a market survey on the staple on Monday, observed that the price has gone down from as high as N1, 250 to between N450 and N500 per paint bucket. The paint bucket of four-litre is usually the standard measure for cereals in South East. Many buyers, who came to purchase the staple in markets in Enugu, said they were happy as they could get white garri for N450 and yellow garri for N500. A buyer, who spoke to NAN, said that they prayed the price could crash further, while another said it should continue at its current price. The traders attributed the price crash to the current bumper harvest of cassava after many Nigerians had yielded the call to return to the farm. A garri seller at Garki Market, Mrs Obioma Ukoh, said that many people went into cassava farming since last year and for that its price had drastically dropped. “I pray that people will continue to plant cassava, this way there will be no reason to buy it as high as N1, 250 again,’’ she said. Mr James Ugwu, a teacher in one of the secondary schools in Enugu, also said that the low price was as a result of bumper harvest of cassava this year. Ugwu, who NAN met at Kenyatta Market, said that the price would not get higher anymore as everyone had learnt a lesson and many had gone back to farming. A corps member, Miss Ifeoma Ogbologu, who came for shopping at Akwata Market, said she was happy buying garri at the rate of N450, explaining that it was not easy when the price was N1, 250.

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