Peter Obi denies viral ‘religious war’ audio with Oyedepo, threatens legal action
Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi has distanced himself from a viral audio chat with Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church known as Winners Chapel.
“Let me reiterate that the audio call being circulated is fake, and at no time throughout the campaign and now did I ever say, think, or even imply that the 2023 election is, or was a religious war,” Obi tweeted on Wednesday.
“The attempts to manipulate Nigerians is very sad and wicked. Our legal team have been instructed to take appropriate legal actions against Peoples Gazette and others.”
In the audio, the voice described as Obi’s appealed to someone whom Peoples’ Gazette, the media platform that released the audio, said was Oyedepo to help him speak to Christian voters in Nigeria’s southwest voters and Kwara state in northcentral to support his presidential bid.
The voice purported to be that of Obi said the election was a “religious war” with Oyedepo replying “I believe so”.
A spokesman for the Labour Party presidential campaign council Kenneth Okonkwo late Saturday did not dismiss the audio but said that the Peoples Gazette’s report misrepresented the context of the conversation.
Four days after the became viral, Obi said there was never a time he campaigned on religion and ethnicity, an allegation his critics said he is fond of.
“Before, during, and after the campaign, it is on record that I have maintained my commitment and focus on issue-based campaign about a New Nigeria that is POssible, a shift of emphasis from consumption to production, a New Nigeria characterized by inclusion, justice, equity, fairness, and prosperity,” Obi said.
“I repeatedly stated that no one should vote for me based on Tribe or Religion, but rather on the assessment of Character, Competence, Capacity, Credibility, and Compassion that can be trusted to create a New Nigeria!”
He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and minister of information Lai Mohammed and government agencies of plots “to divert our attention from our blatantly stolen mandate is unfortunate and sad.”
Obi, a former Anambra State governor, lost the presidential election to APC’s Bola Tinubu who is expected to be sworn in by May 29, 2023. Obi and other candidates aggrieved with the election result are in court to challenge the outcome.
The Labour Party candidate said the ruling APC have not ceased in their attempts to malign his person.
“These have come and continued to manifest in different ways, such as the malicious accusation of the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, the circulation of a fake doctored audio call, and a pressure on me to leave the country,” Obi said.
“Elections are over, and we are in court to retrieve our stolen mandate.”
Obi implored all Nigerians to remain peaceful and law-abiding pending the conclusion of the legal process.