Some people have argued that their quarrel with the Heroes Square project is the statue of Jacob Zuma, the South African President that is erected there. The question such critics should answer is, “Is Jacob Zuma a hero?” You have the right to your own opinion but I will boldly say that Jacob Zuma is a hero both in his home country and in Africa as a continent. Maybe you have forgotten so let me remind you that the current South African President whose statue Rochas erected at the Heroes Square is the same South African freedom fighter who was second in rank only to Nelson Mandela. Together the two great men and others fought, slept in trenches and were imprisoned severally in order that Apartheid and their people are set free from oppression. That Zuma is facing multiple investigations on allegations of corruption has not in any way diminished his stature and integrity since no court has found him guilty of any of those allegations which are mostly politically motivated.
From Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Ikemba Ojukwu, Sam Mbakwe to the Liberian President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected President in Africa, all the people honoured at the Heroes Square are eminently qualified to be there.
On the day she was honoured in Owerri, Madam Sirleaf expressed great joy and appreciation to the government and people of Imo State for the honour bestowed on her. (She is now the “Ada Di Ora Nma” of Imo State), adding that her status at the Heroes Square is bigger than the one erected in her honour at the Harvard University (of all places). Led by the wife of the state governor Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha, Imo women later presented her with assorted indigenous gifts ranging from clothes, jewelleries, mortar, pestle; kola nuts packed into locally made plates, among others. In reaction, the Liberian president said she had never been treated so nicely; which is another way of building bridges and international goodwill in favour of Imo state.