WHERE WAS JACOB ZUMA ROAD?
ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
Today, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha used his prerogative to rename one of the many roads built by his predecessor. The former Jacob Zuma road, now Mbazulike Amaechi road is one of the arterial roads to the New Owerri axis.
To be clear, Mbazulike Amaechi deserves every honor done to in any part of Africa, Nigeria and especially, the Southeastern part of Nigeria, considering the significant roles he played during the independence struggles, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa. Being one of the few to hit 90, and still with his senses, intact, the elder statesman and icon of courage would be satisfied that he has been immortalized once again.
The choice of the former Jacob Zuma road for this honor is also informative, as it further exonerates the immediate past governor of Imo State, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha on the allegations of non-performance bandied about by the current administration. The fact is that before Okorocha, the road which Ihedioha has now renamed was a forest and a hideout for criminals. It is therefore, to the credit of Owelle Rochas Okorocha that there is a road to be named after one of Africa’s foremost statesmen; Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.
Like Mbazulike Amaechi, Jacob Zuma was also a front line nationalist who joined forces with other South African activists and politicians to oust the apartheid regime in that country. Zuma may be facing prosecution today for his errors in power, but every man has his own errors, and the higher a man climbs, the more vulnerable he becomes to criticism and prosecution. Ihedioha should have therefore, considered building a new road like Owelle did and named it after Mbazulike Amaechi, if he so loves the man. If he cannot build a new road, he could have renamed less significant roads after the statesman.
Imperatively, this action of Chief Ihedioha also exposes a clear difference between a working governor and an acting governor. Ihedioha only sat in a hall to proclaim the renaming of a road, while Okorocha took his visitors, including Jacob Zuma to the road to commission it and named it in his honor.