Confusion as LP spokesman ‘validates’ viral Peter Obi, Oyedepo audio — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


The Labour Party campaign council has urged the public to disregard allegations of religious bigotry in a viral audio from an alleged phone conversation between Peter Obi and Bishop David Oyedepo.

The now-viral audio between Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 election, and Oyedepo, president of Living Faith Church known as Winners Chapel, was published by a digital media outlet People’s Gazette (PG) on Saturday.

In the audio, the voice described as Obi’s appealed to someone whom Gazette 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”.

Oyedepo is from Kwara state.

PG said it contacted Obi and Oyedepo before publishing the leaked phone conversation but none responded to their inquiry. Labour Party and Obi are yet to speak on the viral audio at the time of filing this report.

But Oyedepo said on Sunday that he has never campaigned for any politician.

The confusion
Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Akin Osuntokun, earlier said that he had nothing to say on the matter.

But Valentine Obienyem, a media aide to Obi, said the audio was a “badly doctored conservation with Bishop Oyedepo” as part of the plots by the ruling APC to implicate his principal.

“They edited out the Muslim-Muslim ticket that led to the discussion, where Obi said that in a society like ours, religious balancing was a necessary consideration and that their recklessness had made Christians to assume it was a religious war.”

A spokesman for the Labour Party presidential campaign council Kenneth Okonkwo said the Peoples Gazette’s report misrepresented the context of the conversation.

“It is not surprising that these political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if Obi was making a religious statement,” said Okonkwo in a series of tweets.

While Okonkwo did not distance Obi from the leaked audio, he described the context of the audio as “aptly put by Bishop Oyedepo when he said, All Nigerians have equal stake in this nation, nobody has the right to claim that he is dashing something to someone.”

Okonkwo said the phrase “religious war” heard in the audio was in the context of criticising the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its choice to run a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the presidential election.

“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.”

Oyedepo speaks amid controversy
Meanwhile, Bishop Oyedepo said he has never campaigned for any politician during any election in Nigeria.

He said this on Sunday at the church’s headquarters in Ogun State while speaking on the subject of faith.

“Nobody had ever told me what to say in this world. No. I have never campaigned for anybody or speak on anybody’s behalf and I will not do that till I go to heaven,” Oyedepo said.

“There is no (political) party in this country that didn’t come to me for prayers and for advice. I advised them, some, they didn’t take. Those who chose to take it, they see results; those who said no, they are going about it (laughs). If you still come again, I will still tell you, it doesn’t change.”

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