Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday said entertainer and rights activist, Mr Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy), was recruited in 2014 by his political opponents to fight his administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor, who was reacting to a recent meeting convened by Charly Boy and the State Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Lawrence Nwaekaeti, to review suspected cases of rights abuses in the state, said the activist continued to act the script handed to him by his paymasters since 2014.
He said Charly Boy first attacked him that year during the burial of his father, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.
Okorocha said the controversial activist had deceived respectable and renowned activists, like Prof Chidi Odinkalu and others, to come to Imo State over the relocation of the Owerri Market while he continued with his “unwarranted attacks” against his administration.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, the governor said: “Our attention has been drawn to the meeting presided over by Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) and the Chairman of Owerri branch of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA, Mr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, on September 9 at the Bar Centre, High Court oremises in Owerri and the publications on the outcome of the meeting.
“We want to respond by first alluding that Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) was recruited since 2014 by opponents of the Rescue Mission Government in the state against Governor Okorocha and the APC. He used his father’s burial service at Oguta to launch his war against the governor after he had collected money from the government for the same father’s burial. And he has continued the unprovoked and unwarranted war.”
The statement added: “The governor did the road to Oputa’s house, built a court complex named after the late jurist, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa… But before the burial, they told him that someone had directed that he should not allow Governor Okorocha to talk at the burial service, not minding that protocol demanded that the governor should talk.
“Acting on the script given to him, Charly Boy snatched the microphone from a sitting governor, who came to honour his late father and who also gave money for the burial. He did that to satisfy Governor Okorocha’s opponents and see whether (or not) that could help them in the 2015 election. Up till now, Charly Boy has not cared to apologise to the governor, in spite of the general outcry his action attracted then.
“But he has continued the war with his coming to Owerri at the weekend to insult Governor Okorocha as part of the script. He deceived some notable rights activists, like Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, into coming to Owerri on the relocation of Ekeukwu Market without such innocent figures knowing he was recruited since 2014 against Governor Okorocha. He looks for every opportunity to malign the governor.
“He was also recruited this year against President Mohammadu Buhari. To carry out the assignment, he came up with the so-called: OurMumuDonDo. He was calling for the resignation of President Buhari because he was sick as if President Buhari was the first President to be sick in the country.
“It is also important to ask Charly Boy where he was for the 16 years the previous administrations mismanaged the fortunes of this country. And they have so greatly empowered him that today, he moves in a lengthy convoy with no fewer than 15 assorted Jeeps with an avalanche of security aides who look overfed.”