The governor lashed out at the public backlash and called his critics 'enemies of our people'.
The governor has been dealing with public backlash resulting from his unveiling of the N520 million statue that many condemned as a waste of money, an improper endorsement of a president facing corruption allegations, and incapable of dealing with xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in his country.
In a statement released by the governor's Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, he lashed out at the backlash and called his critics 'enemies of our people'.
The governor argued that the statue was part of his government's bid to attract meaningful investors that'll contribute to the growth of the state.
He said, "In case these 'Galatians' do not know, if all we need to do to attract good things or investments to Imo is erecting statues, then, we have no option than to erect as many of such structures as possible. We owe no one apology.
"Rochas made a promise to open the doors of Imo to the rest of the world for good and he is doing that and we cannot be deterred by these enemies of our people."
While remaining unapologetic, the governor attacked the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) for not matching up to his achievements in attracting meaningful visitors like President Zuma.
"If it was in the days of PDP, schools and markets would have been shut down. And roads closed because President Zuma was coming. But none of such things was done because Rochas and his government have human face.
"The PDP for the 12 years they held sway never attracted any meaningful visitor to the state except PDP NEC members who were coming to loot the state," he said.
He further explained that the president's visit was part of arrangements to sign a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) between the Jacob Zuma Education Foundation and Rochas Foundation College of Africa.