The Imo State Government, on Friday flayed calls to pull down statue of immediate past South African President, Jacob Zuma following his resignation from office on Wednesday.
Recall that the erstwhile President’s statue which is one of the seven statues erected by the Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha-led government in Owerri, the state capital, has since been generating controversies across the country.
Critics of the project had accused the governor of insensitivity to needs of residents in the state, arguing that the money spent on the statue should have been used for life changing initiatives that would benefit the masses.
They also lampooned the governor for erecting the statue of a man allegedly indicted of corruption allegations in his country.
On Wednesday night, Zuma had announced his decision to stand down as South Africa’s President, claiming that the move was for the interest of the country.
His resignation was consequent upon rising pressures against him from his party, African National Congress, ACN, which rejected the President and asked him to step down on grounds of alleged involvement in financial misappropriation.
Following his resignation, some of those against the erection of his statue in Owerri had urged the state government to pull down the edifice.
But reacting to such calls in a press release signed by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeudo, the state government insists nothing will happen to the statue, arguing that there was no basis for such move.
It added that the statue was erected as a way of honouring Zuma for his role in the freedom of South Africans as well as his contributions to the development of Imo State.
The statement reads: “He also resigned honorably. 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 with the 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 less privileged children in Africa.”