Obi's campaign denies leaked conversation with Oyedepo, accuses APC
The Obi campaign council described the leaked audio conversation as a ploy by the ruling APC to cause religious tension in the country.
The campaign council was reacting to an audio leak that has been making the rounds since the night of Saturday, April 1, 2023, in which Obi and the Bishop were heard discussing how to rally Christian voters in the South-West and places in the North-Central states of Kwara, Kogi, and Niger.
In the audio conversation, which was reportedly held on the eve of the presidential election of February 25, 2023, the Labour Party flag-bearer can be heard saying “Daddy, I need you to speak to your people in the South-West and Kwara, the Christians in the South-West and Kwara.”
Obi pressed on by noting that “This is a religious war,” to which Oyedepo replied, “I believe that, I believe that, I believe that."
When the former Anambra State governor said, “Like I keep saying: if this works, you people will never regret the support,” the Bishop promised to circulate more messages to Christians on his behalf adding, “We look forward to God’s intervention.”
But, The Head, Media and Communications of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Diran Onifade, described the purported audio conversation as a product of the endless forgeries the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has a notoriety for.
Onifade, who made this known in Abuja on Sunday, April 2, 2023, accused the APC of trying to demarket Obi and cause religious tension in the country.
He said: “It appears the All Progressives Congress’ desperation to grab and retain power by foul means has refused to go away more than a month after they have grabbed the election as they planned.
“While we are toeing the constitutional path to retrieve our mandate, those who have truncated the wishes of the majority of Nigerians have recoursed to mischief and endless subterfuge to continue to hold on to what they know does not belong to them.
“From the show of shame in Port Harcourt to the drama in the Ibom Air aircraft, both of which they contrived, they have now moved to the circulation of a deep fake audio file aimed at promoting religious tension in the country.
“All these are meant to serve no other purpose than egregious mischief aimed at demarketing Peter Obi. If the goal is to create a credibility problem, the ploy has failed woefully.
“Peter Obi has long been on record as the only presidential candidate who has urged the Nigerians electorate not to vote for him on the basis of religion or tribe .
“We will therefore like to advice our beloved Nigerian people to remain focused on the task to take back the mandate we know was freely given to Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed through legitimate means.
“That is more important than to expect those who ran election on forged credentials and even fake Bishops to stop faking. They cannot stop being fraudulent because that is who they are.”
However, contrary to Onifade's claim, a spokesman of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Kenneth Okonkwo, confirmed on Sunday that the voices in the leaked audio were that of Obi and Oyedepo.
But, the actor argued that there was nothing wrong in the move his principal made because "Religion became central to the campaign after Bola Tinubu tapped a fellow Muslim running mate in a nation making a religious statement."
Okonkwo went on to blame opposition parties for trying to spin the content of the tape, adding that Obi was simply urging the Bishop to help him push his messages to his people.
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