On Friday 9th, 2017, controversial South-Africa President Jacobs Zuma visited one of the Nigeria’s oil rich state Imo, where a giant bronze statue was unveiled in his honor, which has caused mixed reactions among Nigerians.
Gov Rochas just erected a humongous statue of Jacob Zuma in Imo.
What next?? Name a Stadium or Airport after Robert Mugabe?? pic.twitter.com/LoET7JrakR
— PRESIDENT OKONKWO (@IkechuQwu) October 15, 2017
The two-day visitation by Jacobs Zuma happened just as South-Africa’s Supreme Court ruled out he should face corruption charges.
The South-Africa President visited Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha in a surprise visit that was also announced same day the South-Africa Presidency.
Aside the unveiling statue, road was named after him and also he was conferred with traditional Chieftaincy title. However, several media houses has reported that the Zuma‘s statue was cost around $1.4Million — which is equivalent to 520 Million in Nigeria’s naira currency.
The governor also conferred Zuma with highest merit award in the state, which usually given to distinguishing individuals.
– Jacob Zuma doesnt have a statue in SA
– Our past hero’s dont have a statue in SA
Rochas, Jacob Zuma, D statue & D road, y’all are mad 😠 pic.twitter.com/72cLXIuxOP
— 9jaWitches 🧙♀️🇳🇬 (@badgalmaddie_) October 15, 2017
Okorocha had something to say about the Zuma’s statue in the state: ” We have decided to honor you for your love for education, though you were deprived in your early days in life but you are working to make sure that every poor child went to school.
“Your love for education to us is the connection between you and government and the people of Imo State.”
According to report, Okorocha and President Zuma also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will provide free education for poor children on the continent, according to local media reports.
Several Nigerians have weighed their views on Twitter expressing their opinions on the statue of Zuma.
Just when you thought you've seen it all, you see a Nigerian Governor erecting a statue for Jacob Zuma while owing his state workers salary.
— Josh I (@sire_liljosh) October 15, 2017
Rochas Okorocha should have just stayed a benevolent billionaire. A statue for Jacob Zuma is the height of insanity at a time like this.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) October 15, 2017
First it was a billboard of handshake with Obama now Statue of Jacob Zuma, what next? Sense fall on Rochas pic.twitter.com/snqVehZXfJ
— petral ayomide (@sexypetral1) October 15, 2017
What has Jacob Zuma done for Imo State??? FDI? Grants? Scholarships? Loans?? What exactly warrants a N500million statue 4 him in Imo state?
— iˡᶤᶬᶤᵗᵉᵈᵉᵈᶤᵗᶤᵒᶰ® (@Lady_Deelicious) October 15, 2017
As if the Mighty Statue was not Enough, a Street was also named after Jacob Zuma by Imo state Governor Rochas pic.twitter.com/KqX05NgBbt
— Osas Cruz (@OsasCruz) October 15, 2017
For the past two hours, I haven't been able to sleep. This thing keeps disturbing me. Jacob Zuma doesn't even have a statue in South Africa!
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 15, 2017
As the buzz continues to gathered momentum on social media, popular social media activists and Political Blogger Omojuwa joined the conversation through another angle.
Jephthah Omojuwa shared photos of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers with Real Madrid stars Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo and captioned it: “How long before Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos get their own statues?”
In the screenshot circulating social media, the verified @GovernorRochas handle quoted the tweet and wrote: “You are very stupid”.
The governor has finally come out to distance himself from the viral tweet, saying it was product of photoshop.
Let it be known that I never put out any tweet through my Twitter cursing anyone out, this is clearly a photoshopped image pic.twitter.com/a7X0I2bJ8v
— Gov. Rochas Okorocha (@GovernorRochas) October 17, 2017
Omojuwa further come out to denies that the viral screenshoot is photoshop:
It wasn’t photoshopped! You tweeted and deleted it. That’s why the capture says 35 seconds. You should have ignored it instead of lying. https://t.co/UAhl46VyQL
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) October 17, 2017
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) October 17, 2017