Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, has defended embattled Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha over the controversial statue of the South African President, Jacob Zuma in Owerri.
According to him, the state legislators empowered the governor to erect the President Zuma’s statue in recognition of his service to humanity.
Ihim stated this on Friday during a chat with newsmen in his official residence in Owerri, the state capital.
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.”
Ihim, who represents Okigwe State Constituency, also dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the state legislators are Governor Rochas Okorocha’s puppets.
He argued that it was grossly misleading for some individuals to misconstrue the cordial working relationship between the Legislature and the Executive in the states as a sign of weakness on the former.
“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.