By Joshua Olomu
Abuja – Showbiz maverick and activist, Mr Charles Oputa, a.k.a “Charlyboy”, has disclosed that he considered becoming a priest as a lad due to the strong moral and spiritual parenting he received from his late father.
Charlyboy stated this on Tuesday at the 2018 Justice Oputa Annual Conference (JOAC), an annual lecture series on leadership, in Abuja.
He said: “I was an altar boy trying to live up to our father’s expectations, and I was fed with so much religiosity that I romanced the idea of becoming a priest as a teenager.
“Almost every morning, we attended morning mass which was compulsory,and confession meetings and Bible studies was regular.
“My dear father ‘terrorised’ us with the burden of bearing the name, Oputa, and almost every day was a sermon and lecture in our household on why we must protect the Oputa name.
“It was pounded into our skulls that a good name is worth more than all the billions in the bank; values that have become extinct in today’s Nigeria,” he added.
Charlyboy, who is the National Coordinator of the “Ourmumudondo” Movement, in an emotion-filled atmosphere, eulogized the late Supreme Court Judge, popularly known as “Socrates of the Nigerian Judiciary”.
He recounted the rigorous discipline he received under his father’s watch, which however shaped him into a better adult.
“As a teenager I saw my father as overbearing, bullish, brash, cantankerous and outdated.
“His overdose of discipline, strong moral value and spirituality was suffocating, and I wondered why I was the most punished amongst my siblings.
“Discipline was enforced in our house as if we were in the army and any time we did something wrong my father never speared the rod,” he said.
The “Areafada”, as he is fondly called by fans, explained that the annual Justice Oputa Conference was a platform to share leadership values and selfless service to humanity, which defined the life of the late legal icon.
He however lamented that some of the societal ills, especially in leadership, which the late Oputa addressed were still very much plaguing the society today.
“For 14yrs before he passed on, my father lived in my house, and most evenings we talked about the apparent injustices and inequalities that abound in Nigeria.
“He kept pointing out the direction, the practice and way of life that leads to true happiness.
“One of his popular teachings was that wealth does not guarantee happiness and that wealth is impermanent.
“That in every country people suffer, whether rich or poor, but only those who seek to understand the true meaning of life can find true happiness,” Charlyboy said.
He therefore urged parents to be more committed to the moral and spiritual upbringing of their children for them to become better and useful to society in future.
NAN reports that the Justice Oputa Annual Conference (JOACH) is a flagship initiative of the Justice Oputa Foundation (JOF), a body christened after the Supreme Court Judge, Chukwudifu Oputa.
The conference seeks to promote dialogue on good governance, rule of law and sustainable development agenda among policy makers and development partners
The 2018 edition with the theme: “Governance, Law and Development”, has in attendance human rights activists, heads of organisations, government functionaries and civil society groups