The leaked audio conversation between the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the just concluded election, Peter Obi and the founder of the Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo could be likened to the Watergate scandal. However, it’s quite embarrassing that the media spokesperson of Peter Obi, rather than discard the audio and even accuse People’s Gazette of being used for covert operations by some yet-to-be identified persons in the country aimed at steering angst amongst the people was too quick to admit the audio as true.
The fact that Okonkwo admits that audio amounts to intellectual inefficiency and it exposes him as someone that does not have any understanding of media relation. Even if the audio were to be true, we should not as a people be celebrating the establishment’s attempt at bugging peoples’ phone lines. It’s major infringement on rights.
Okonkwo has forgotten that this is not Nollywood industry. It is unimaginable that as a media assistant, you would admit to a scandal being rubbed on the face of your Principal. Though I understand that Obi dwells in division. As a matter of fact, division is the lubricant that keeps him going. We all remember how he caused division between Anglican and Catholic during his reign as Governor of Anambra. It was the same tactic he was bringing into national polity (though the APC allowed such with their evil ticket). But, as a media assistant, your job is to launder the image of your Principal (no matter what) considering the fact that bugging of phone lines (most especially that of a Presidential candidate) is not what should be celebrated.
The APC candidate also played the Muslim/Muslim card. As a matter of fact, there was a well-reported meeting of religious leaders in Kano where they agreed to support a Muslim/Muslim ticket. So, in context, what Obi did was not out of place (provided he wasn’t calling for arms struggle). And, anyone who thinks religion didn’t play a part in the presidential election is living in perpetual deceit.
As an individual, I am not shocked a bit at the conversation because it is nothing new. Moreso, I understand that the country is divided along ethnic and religious lines and I also understand the religious and ethnic tension the APC ticket engender for the country.
I just hope that in Peter Obi’s attempt to get into the heads of the people, he won’t end up like Alexander the Great. Meanwhile, rather than celebrate this leaked audio, we should call on the government to increase surveillance on private companies running wiretapping in Nigeria. It’s an infringement of right and it portends serious danger. We understand that we cannot expect a journalist to declare their source but this one is very dangerous. The story of Piers Morgan of CNN comes to head.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.