Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has come under fire from [some of] his subjects for plans to spend 27 million US Dollars in the construction of a statue of a man and wife and child with the man statue dragging along the wife statue, or holding her with both arms and balancing the baby on his arm or, walking and the wife following behind; at least according to the blue prints.
The 160 foot bronze statue of a physically fit man with big biceps and taking a 'heroic posture' was condemned by some of the country's Muslims who make 95 pc of the population as idolatrous.
"Just see the way the 'man' is posing, he's like Zeus about to strike with his thunderbolt" said Cheikh Mamadou Hamadi but his contemporaries thought he looked more like Hercules.
When the designs were redesigned to make the man statue pose in such a way he was holding the woman statue's hand who in turn was carrying a baby statue, women rights groups protested that it painted women in a bad light and made them appear subordinate to men.
" why is the man statue leading and dragging the hapless woman along" fumed an angry Ms. Aicha Yunus Taradi. "it's sad to see that women have to walk or pose in the shadows of men even in inanimate City Square statues" she added.
The statues which Mr. Wade said represents African Renaissance and will attract tourists to the West African nation were seen as a waste of money which could be made useful in other projects like health care and fishing.
But analysts said the rare expertise in sculpturing the human likeness of their dear leader was the determining factor.
As the prospects of making real tourism revenues turned from drawing board to reality, President Wade quickly declared through his top lawyers he is entitled to 35pc of the proceeds of the venture because he owns the "intellectual rights" for coming up with the idea both business and design; with the rest going to the government.
Papa Malik Diouf a civil servant proposed better things could have been done with the money like removing this pile of garbage first
At the time of going to press, the statue was up with the strong man wrapping his arms around his wife and child.