Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) Imo State chapter, the apex umbrella body of youth organizations in Igbo land and an affiliate of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, the apex socio-cultural organization of Ndi Igbo have admonished the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to desist from using Ohaneze youth council to launder his already battered image.
The council expressed this view in a release dated 23rd October 2017, and signed by the state chairperson Comrade Ogechi Vivian, Uzoma.
According to the release, the youths expressed dismay and dissociated themselves from frivolous publications in some national dailies praising and eulogizing governor Rochas Okorocha for wasting the scare resources of the state in hosting and erecting statues of the embattled and discredited President of South Africa Jacob Zuma in the state.
They noted that the release signed by one Obinna Achuonye, as National Vice Chairman of Ohaneze Youth Council “does not have the approval and seal of OYC and is not in any way our collective view and opinion”.
They regretted that a person who claims to occupy such position in OYC will condescend to the level of a conscienceless praise singer for pecuniary reasons. “Why should Igbo youths, under normal circumstances eulogize Jacob Zuma that is presently facing corruption and criminal charges, a man who presided over a country at a time more than 2,000 Nigerian youths, 90% of whom are Igbos were slaughtered in the world’s most condemned xenophobic attacks”?
They described Comrade Obinna Achuonye, the self acclaimed national vice chairman of OYC who lives in Enugu as an impostor who is known for political jobbing and merchandising and called on Imolites, south easterners and Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, to disregard him, his fabricated and jaundiced publications, as they are nothing but his personal and weightless opinion.
They youths recalled that, the Igbo National Youth Council (INYC) and the Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Imo State chapter, in a recent joint press conference, expressed their displeasure and condemned in very strong terms, the erection of the Zuma statue by governor Rochas Okorocha led government and “we in OYC, Imo State chapter wish to reaffirm our position on the Zuma statue which we consider an aberration and unnecessary waste of public funds and call for its immediate demolition”.
It is the opinion of most people that Jacob Zuma who is said to be facing about 783 corruption and fraud charges that stem from his tenure as Deputy President between 1999 and 2005, when he was alleged to have received yearly gratification of forty thousand pounds from the local subsidiary of a French defence company for assisting it to evade official investigation into the arms deal.
He was also accused of receiving payments totaling two hundred and eighty thousand pounds from Schabir Shaik, a businessman who was then his financial adviser, whom he used his position to favour with contracts and other goodies. Shaik was convicted and sentenced to 15 year imprisonment for bribing Zuma.
Jacob Zuma was in 2005 charged with the rape of a 31 year old woman, daughter of a prominent ANC member. The victim was an AIDS activist who was also known to be HIV positive. Zuma denied the rape charge, and claimed that the lady gave her consent to the sex act.
Jacob is generally seen as an irresponsible polygamist who has been married six times. The Daily Telegraph in a publication in 2012, said the embattled president is estimated to have about 20 children, while the Guardian in 2014, said has 21 children.
Jacob Zuma is said to be, from all indications, unworthy of the honour accorded him by governor Okorocha, on behalf of Imo people. Some people are of the opinion that the late Owelle of Onitsha, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Dee Sam Mbakwe, the first governor of Imo State Ndubuisi Kanu, among others, are more qualified than Jacob Zuma in all ramifications to have their statues erected in any part of Imo State. However, there is a saying that if you show me your friend, I will tell you whom you are.