South African President Jacob Zuma visited Nigeria’s Imo state on Friday and had a giant bronze statue unveiled in his honor, a decision that has caused outrage in some parts of the country.
The two-day visit happened just as South Africa’s Supreme Court ruled that President Zuma should face corruption charges.
Zuma visited Governor Rochas Okorocha in Owerri in a surprise visit that was only announced the same day by the South Africa presidency.
As well as the statue, Zuma was given a chiefaincy title and had a road named after him.
Local media reported that the cost of the statue was around 520million Naira — equivalent to $1.4 million.
Okorocha also conferred on Zuma the Imo Merit Award, the highest award the state gives to distinguished individuals.
As he unveiled the statue, Okorocha said: “We have decided to honor you for your love for education, though you were deprived in your early days in life but you are working to make sure that every poor child went to school.
“Your love for education to us is the connection between you and government and the people of Imo State.”
Okorocha and President Zuma also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will provide free education for poor children on the continent, according to local media reports.
Nigerians have weighed in on Twitter expressing their opinions on the statue of Zuma.