In response to the wide spread criticism for erecting a statue of President Jacob Zuma, The All Progressive Congress (APC) lead Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), of leaving the Sate in bad imagery, as well as looting public treasury.
The accusation came after he unveiled a huge statue in honor of South African President, Jacob Zuma. A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, on Tuesday read that the PDP never attracted any meaningful personality to the state.
“If it was in the days of PDP, Schools and Markets would have been shot down. And roads closed because President Zuma was coming. But none of such things was done because Rochas and his government have human face. The PDP for the 12 years they held sway never attracted any meaningful visitor to the State except PDP NEC members who were coming to loot the State,” the statement read.
The decision to erect the statue has been widely criticized as endorsing the governance style of a president who is facing corruption charges in his country.
The honor was done Mr. Zuma few days after another Nigerian, Jelili Omoyele, a 35-year-old, was killed in the unquenched xenophobia in South Africa.
Mr. Onwuemeodo in the statement also explained the rationale behind the governor’s gesture, saying Mr. Zuma’s visit was principally to sign a MoU between Jacob Zuma Education Foundation and Rochas Foundation College of Africa.
Furthermore, he said a meeting was also held with Mr. Zuma and other businessmen at the Ikemba Ojukwu centre, including Leo Stan Ekeh of Zinox Computers, Dr. Pascal Dozie of Diamond Bank, Chairman of Innoson Motors, and a host of others.
After the meeting, the state government decided to encourage the South African president to do more and appreciated him for coming by honouring him with a Merit Award and erecting his statue, the statement added.
In a non-apologetic manner, Mr. Onwuemeodo said Gov. Rochas was determined to bring development to Imo state and would not be deterred by criticisms.
“And in case these “Galatians” do not know, if all we need to do to attract good things or investments to Imo is erecting statues, then, we have no option than to erect as many of such structures as possible. We owe no one apology. Rochas made a promise to open the doors of Imo to the rest of the world, for good and he is doing that and we cannot be deterred by these enemies of our people,” he said.
The gesture had earlier created widespread criticisms especially on social media.
Just recently, Governor Rochas reacted to a screenshot of his verified Twitter handle responding to a blogger, Japheth Omojuwa’s tweet.
Gov. Rochas denied insulting the blogger, saying the circulating screenshot was a Photoshop.
Mr. Omojuwa however rebuffed the governor, accusing him of deleting the tweet seconds after the reply.