Less than 48 hours after radical musician, Charles Oputa(aka Charley Boy) stormed out of a colloquium organized by the state government in honour of his late father at the International Conference Centre, Owerri, Imo State where he accused the governor of trying to play politics with the burial of his father, the son of the late jurist Friday stopped Governor Rochas Okorocha from speaking at the funeral mass.
The funeral mass which took place at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oguta in Oguta Local Government Area in the state, saw dignitaries from all walks of life, including President Goodluck Jonathan whho was represented by Anyim Pius Anyim and the labour Minister, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwogu; the governors of Abia, Dr. Theodore Orji; Anambra, Chief Willy Obiano, hundreds of justices, senators and dignitaries from across the country and Igbo nation in particular present.
However, a mild drama ensued in the church when Charley Boy prevented Governor Rochas Okorochaof Imo State from speaking.
In order not to allow the governor to speak at the church in Oguta as protocol demands, Charley Boy, earlier caused the church to announce that it was only the president or his representative would be allowed to speak in the church.
As a result, the microphone was handed over to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan to deliver the president’s message.
Hardly had Anyim finished his speeches than Governor Okorocha rose from his seat, after a brief discussion with Prof. Anthony Anwuka, and met with some priests.
He told the priests that as the chief security officer of the state “I must speak. I must speak”.
He went straight to the alter and the approached the officiating priest and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and immediately one of the priests appealed that protocols demanded that the governor of the state should speak in an occasion like that.
As Okorocha went for the microphone, Charley Boy rose from his seat and waved the governor aside and told the bishop that the governor must not speak at his father’s funeral.
He insisted that the governor should not be allowed to speak, calling him unprintable names.
Earlier in his speech, President Jonathan described the late jurist as a respected public servant, patriot and internationally acclaimed jurist, saying that it was on record that in his long service to Nigeria, distinguished himself and left an enviable legacy which he said the entire Oputa family would always be proud of.
Jonathan said Oputa was not only an outstanding legal icon, but one who readily gave himself in the service of fatherland in demonstration of his faith in the emergence of a strong, united and prosperous Nigeria.
Earlier during the homily, Bishop Kukah dwelt on the need for human rights to respected at all times by all especially the government, saying that the late jurist gave better part of his life towards entrenching human rights in the country.