The presidential spokesperson of the Labour Party and the Peter Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Kenneth Okonkwo has admitted to the authenticity of an audio tape tagged as a conversation between Obi and the General Overseer of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo.
An online news outfit, Peoples Gazette published the leaked audio tape on Saturday which has heated the Nigerian political space online.
In the said tape, Mr Peter Obi called Bishop David Oyedepo on the eve of the election, imploring him to influence the Christians across the South-West and also to those in central states like Kwara, Kogi and Niger for his political ambition.
The conversation which expressed sectarianism has raised the dust of concern on Twitter as some Nigerians accused the Labour Party candidate of trying to employ “religious tactics“ during the just concluded general elections.
Mr Okonkwo, trying to defend the conversation, said the context of the conversation was misconstrued. The spokesperson said, “political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if Obi was making a religious statement.”
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the publication of this audio tape of a private conversation between @PeterObi and Bishop Oyedepo. It is not surprising that these political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if Obi was making a religious statement.”
“Firstly, the context of the conversation was aptly put by Bishop Oyedepo when he said, “All Nigerians have an equal stake in this nation, nobody has the right to claim that he is dashing something to someone”.
“H E @PeterObi was simply urging the Bishop to help him push this message of equal stake of all Nigerians in the Nigerian project to his people and the christiandom because the politicians of the other party is carrying on this campaign as if it is a religious war.”
“To drive home this point, he informed him that he visited the traditional ruler of Offa, the Olofa of Offa, who is a Muslim, but who advised Obi to get the support of Oyedepo and be assured of his own support. No Politician has ever visited the Olofa of Offa.
“It is clear to everybody that the APC political party that has a Presidential Candidate, Vice Presidential Candidate, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Chairman of the Party all from one religion at a time the CJN is a Muslim is the Party that has declared religious war on Nigerians and we must all rise up together to fight this unconstitutional act of religious intolerance of other religions by APC.”
“I went around with Obi on campaign train and never saw him discriminate against any religion. Of course he can’t because his Vice is a Muslim unlike APC. I resigned from APC because of their religious intolerance. Nigerians should disregard any insinuation of religious bigots about this tape”