Jacob Zuma Of Owerri And The Story of Busts
Nigeria News take a look at the unveiling of Chief Obafemi Awolowo statue and Jacob Zuma statue by Nigerian governors and the controversy it has created.
In less than two weeks, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has unveiled two statues amidst serious censure.
The governor unveiled the bust of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, erected at the Agidimbgi junction, Alausa Ikeja despite criticism.
Unlike the Awo statue that is standing on Allen junction, the new bust is in sitting position. The art generated discordant views in the public space mostly because the artiste had wrongfully dressed Awolowo in a pair of laced shoes.
According to many of his admirers, Awolowo was a man of great dress sense and would never have worn laced shoes on the Yoruba traditional attire “Agbada”. But to Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, the statue is a piece of artistic expression and not a picture.
That Awolowo statue is sitting down could depict that the late sage was a great thinker. That the statue wears a pair of laced shoes could depict his sense of industry and labour to the people he led for decades before his demise.
“That is art and it is done to create lasting impression in the minds of the viewers,” the commissioner stated.
On Sunday, Ambode unveiled another bust, “the liberation” at the Allen Junction. The statue was erected to immortalize another great Nigerian, the late Afro music icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The bust is a headless Fela, creating another impression in the minds of Lagosians that of what use is a statue that cannot be vividly identified.
However, for most adults that knew Fela, the statue is dressed in the unique outfit of the music legend with its two hands raised up to connote the struggle and freedom the musician represents.
Fela’s unique style of singing carried a powerful message that reverberated globally during his time. Even today, Fela’s music is evergreen.
He used his music to fight oppression and expose the corruption of political elites. But a headless Fela statue leaves many to puzzle, except the artiste.
While Lagos state was busy inaugurating busts of Nigerians that had distinguished themselves in politics, culture and business, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State chose to celebrate the South African President Jacob Zuma.
Such personalities like the late legal luminary and Human Rights Activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the acclaimed winner of the June 12 presidential election, Bashorun Moshood Kasinmawo Abiola, MKO, Human Rights Activist, Dr. Beko Ransom-Kuti, former Lagos State Governors, Brig Gen. Mobolaji Johnson, and Ndubisi Kanu and lots more had since been immortalized with parks and statues in Lagos.
But in Imo state government, the state Governor Rochas Okorocha in this time and age decided to build a monument to immortalize South African President Jacob Zuma.
No doubt, South Africa has produced some of the greatest Africans like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu but it obvious, judging by the current situation of xenophobia attack in South Africa that Zuma’s reputation is questionable.
Barely two weeks ago, three Nigerians were killed in South Africa through the xenophobic attack.
Since the regime of Zuma, no fewer than 120 Nigerians had been killed while hundreds of them had lost their homes and businesses to hoodlums attack in South Africa.
Besides, Zuma is facing hundreds of corruption charges, including sexual assaults.
He is an incumbent president that is fast losing his fame and fortune with the country’s lawmakers desperately shielding him from prosecution?