Sunday, 15 October 2017

OKOROCHA AND OBASANJO CELEBRATES CORRUPTION THROUGH THE VISIT AND HONOUR OF PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA

It was reported in the press in South Africa and Nigeria last week that President Jacob Zuma was embarking on a 2-day "private" visit to Nigeria. We had thought that the embattled South African leader was here for a short vacation. But it turned out that the announcement was made to downplay the plan of President Zuma to have his image laundered at a time that he has been rejected as a corrupt leader by his own country men and women. Contrary to the misleading press report, Mr. Zuma was actually in Nigeria on an official visit to the Imo state government.

Apart from allowing Mr. Zuma to address a group of selected secondary school students and other young people, Governor Rochas Okorocha directed a traditional ruler in Imo state to confer a chieftaincy title on him. He bagged the title of Ochiagha (meaning warlord) of Imo State. Not done yet, the Okorocha government unveiled a statue of Mr. Zuma in a conspicuous place in Owerri. The South African leader has concluded the visit and has since returned home. Now he can boastfully tell South Africans that the prophet is celebrated abroad even though he is not honoured in his country.

It is embarrassing that a state government controlled by the All Progressive Congress which is fighting corruption could host Mr. Zuma, allegedly a corrupt leader in the current assembly of heads of state in the African Union and portray him as a hero before a group of African youths. Is Governor Okorocha not aware that Mr. Zuma has been found guilty of corruption by the courts in South Africa and has been ordered to refund the $500,000.00 (five hundred thousand dollars) stolen from the public treasury to expand his private house to accommodate his many wives? Is Governor Okorocha not aware that Mr. Zuma has also been indicted for allowing an Indian family to influence the appointment of his cabinet members?

In asking President Zuma to address officials of Imo State government, is Governor Okorocha not aware that the people of South Africa are currently demanding for the resignation of a leader who has brought shame and dishonor to the country of Nelson Mandela? Is the APC governor not aware that South Africans are marching on the streets to demand "Zuma Must Go" over his corrupt practices? Of what significance and benefit is the visit of Zuma to the people of Imo state? Where was Mrs Okorocha who has been fighting for the rights of women when a man who was technically discharged by a court in a case of rape was celebrated and honoured by her husband? Though, he admitted that his victim consented to the sexual intercourse, did he not say that he did not use condom? Is the Imo state government encouraging youths to follow the bad examples of President Zuma?

Though, we recognise the federal government's position on not hosting President Zuma in Abuja as his visit would have questioned the anti-corruption policy of President Muhammadu Buhari. All the same the federal government should have called Governor Okorocha to order and advise him not to celebrate corruption. Since Governor Okorocha is part of the APC-led government with mantra of zero tolerance for corruption, he must tender a public apology to the people of Nigeria for promoting President Zuma who has been adjudged to be a corrupt leader by the South African judiciary. On our own part we would have joined South Africans in marching on the streets in Owerri if Mr. Zuma's coming had not been disguised as a "private visit."

In his speech at Owerri, President Zuma said that Africa might remain underdeveloped if sound and qualitative education was denied the youths. He stated that the external conspiracy against the African continent would be effectively tackled when more African children accessed quality education. But how can young people receive qualitative education when the resources for building schools and equipping them are stolen by African leaders. President Zuma also called for the unity of the African people. Is President Zuma not aware that in South Africa, Nigeria and many other African countries, the people complain about marginalization by selfish and thieving governments who are in alliance with the forces behind the "external conspiracy" ?

We are not surprised that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was on hand to welcome and celebrate his friend, President Zuma. It is a case of show me your friend and I'll tell who you are. Both Presidents Obasanjo and Zuma have many things in common. Both of them have used their official positions to acquire obscene wealth as well as many women and children. Both have failed to give qualitative education to young people in their respective countries. But while Chief Obasanjo pretends to be a man of average means, President Zuma displays his ill-acquired wealth to the annoyance of South Africans.