South Africa’s embattled president, Jacob Zuma, just concluded a two-day visit to Imo state on the invitation of the state governor, Rochas Okorocha.
While in Imo, the president observed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between his Zuma Foundation and the Rochas Foundation of Africa founded by the governor.
Below are 5 takeaways from the visit:
1. What is a visit without a little Rochas hospitality?: For Zuma, that hospitality saw the unveiling of a giant statue of the South African president in Owerri. Considering that Zuma is facing a stormy time in his home country, with the Constitutional Court last week clearing the way for hundreds of charges to be brought against him, the statute must have felt like a solid assurance that he remains a giant.
There is this small matter raised in the tweet below, but neither Rochas nor Zuma would care about the “haters”‘.
Governor of Imo state Rochas built a statue of the president of South Africa in Owerri using tax payers money. pic.twitter.com/0ltSov9Qlr
— JudiacDaprof (@JudeAkporu) October 14, 2017
2. Jacob Zuma Road: The president also had the privilege of commissioning a road named after him in Owerri.
3. Imo Merit Award: Okorocha also conferred the Imo Merit Award on Zuma. It is the highest award in the State conferred on distinguished personalities who have made a difference in the development of their communities and to humanity.
4. Ochiagha: Imo monarchs conferred the chieftaincy title of ‘Ochiagha’ (war commander) on the president at the palace of the chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Sam Ohiri. Being the traditional man that he is, he’s likely to appreciate this one.
5. Conspicuously absent: Not that it changes much, however it was interesting that there was no high ranking official of the federal government on hand when Zuma visited. And the South African president did not make any stop over in Abuja to meet Nigeria’s president as well.
Bonus: The reunion: Remember Maurice Iwu, the man who gave Nigeria arguably its worst ever elections as INEC chairman under Olusegun Obasanjo? He was present during the visit. Former Pres. Obasanjo, who is chairman of the Rochas Foundation was present too. Cue: An infamous reunion.