Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is set to unveil the statue of another African president, weeks after a national outrage over the unveiling of a multi-million naira statue of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent in Owerri reports that Okorocha’s latest statue, a monument of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, is scheduled to be unveiled on November 9.
The statue and two others, including that of Zuma, occupy a pride of place at Freedom Square on Wetheral Road in the Imo State capital.
Zuma’s 30-feet statue was said to have cost N520m.
Okorocha displayed Johnson-Sirleaf’s statue on his twitter handle, saying that the Liberian leader would be honoured during her visit to Imo on November 9.
“The Liberia President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is set to arrive our dear Imo State for a two-day working visit on Thursday, 9 Nov. 2017,” Okorocha twitted.
On October 15, Okorocha unveiled Zuma’s gold-cast monument, drawing intense criticisms from the public nationwide.
The critics accused the governor of spending huge money on “meaningless projects in a state that had not been able to pay workers and pensioners as and when due.”
The critics also cited various corruption cases linked to Zuma and the recurring killing of Nigerians in the former apartheid enclave, arguing that giving such honour to Zuma was wrong.
They wondered why Okorocha would choose to honour Zuma, ignoring South African anti-apartheid icons such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Thambo and Walter Sisulu, among others.