Pius Adesanmi, Other Nigerians Slam Imo State Governor For Honoring Zuma

South Africa opposition sues Zuma 11 ministers over corruption

South African President Jacob Zuma

Zuma is now on a two-day working visit to Imo, where he has been conferred with chieftaincy title - Ochiagha di oha mma of Igbo land - and also given the Imo Merit Award - the highest honour in the state, with a street named after him.

A renowned Nigerian professor and columnist, Pius Adesanmi, and other Nigerians have criticized Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha for honoring South African President Jacob Zuma.

Social media has reacted with mixed emotions following the news that the Nigerian government unveiled a statue of President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.

A road in Imo State was also named after President Zuma, who has been in office since 2009 but is due to step down at the next election in 2019. The only industry we have and we can truly be proud of is education in Imo State.

Mr. Zuma was also heavily criticized at home for the purchase of a Boeing 747 believed to have cost South Africa about $400 million.

Governor Okorocha had asides erecting the statue, named a road after Zuma, who is now facing multiple corruption charges in South Africa.

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Okorocha's action is condemnable, said the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, a coalition of more than 150 anti-corruption groups in Nigeria.

The state governor also conferred on President Zuma the Imo Merit Award which is the highest award in the state conferred on distinguished personalities who have made a difference in the development of their communities.

Last year, a South African Court ruled that Mr. Zuma violated the constitution by using public funds to upgrade his private residence, leading to the president apologizing to his countrymen.

Other Nigerians pointed out that the statue was ill timed, given the recent accusations of xenophobia against Nigerians living in South Africa.

"Though we recognize the federal government's position on not hosting President Zuma in Abuja as his visit would have questioned the anti-corruption policy of President Buhari", said Mr. Suraj.

Okorocha said that the statue honors Zuma's "love for education" and that the South African president was working to make sure poor children could attend school.

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