The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, has defended the Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha over the rection of the statue of the South African President, Jacob Zuma in Owerri, which has generated so much controversy since.
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According to Ihim, the State legislators empowered the embattled governor to erect Zuma’s statue in recognition of his service to humanity.
In a chat with newsmen on Friday at his Official Owerri residence, Ihim stated the State Assembly had already passed a Bill into Law that gives the Governor such powers to reward deserving personalities.
He said: “It (Zuma’s statue) was a product of a bill passed into law by the State Assembly which now empowers the governor to accord recognition to any individual who has distinguished himself in his service to God and humanity across the globe.
“The only way to appreciate anybody who does or did well is to appreciate him when alive or dead. I wonder why nobody raised an eyebrow when a similar honour was accorded to the Ghanaian President, Addo Akufo and Second Republic Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.”
The Speaker, representing Okigwe State Constituency, also dismissed insinuations that had been floating in some quarters that the state legislators are Governor Rochas Okorocha’s puppets. He stated that instead what they see is the cordial working relationship between the Legislature and the Executives which has spurred success in the state but still should not be mistaken as a sign of weakness on the part of the lawmakers.
“The prevailing atmosphere of mutual tolerance and understanding between the executive and legislative arms of government in Imo state is a product of the impressive performance of the former.
“I stand to be challenged that we in the legislature are not prepared to antagonize the executive just to score cheap popularity,” he said.