Labour Party presidential candidate in the February election, Peter Obi has dismissed a circulating audio recording of an alleged conversation between himself and fiery cleric Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church.
In the tape, a purported phone conversation suggested Peter Obi asked the church leader for support in reaching out to Christian voters in southwestern Nigeria.
“Daddy, I need you to speak to your people in the South-West and Kwara, the Christians in the South-West and Kwara. This is a religious war. Like I keep saying: if this works, you people will never regret the support,” a voice alleged to be Obi’s said to the bishop.
Nigeria’s hotly contested 2023 election has been divisive, with many Christians strongly feeling that after eight years of rule of President Buhari – who is a Muslim, a Christian like Peter Obi should be elected.
But in a statement released on Sunday by Peter Obi’s media aide Diran Onifade, he accused “those who have truncated the wishes of the majority of Nigerians” of being responsible for the “deep fake audio file”.
The statement said the purpose of the fake tape was to “create a credibility problem” as he tries to “take back the mandate we know was freely given to Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed through legitimate means.”
Mr Obi has filed court papers challenging the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling APC party as the winner.
But in today’s Sunday sermon, Bishop Oyedepo avoided directly referencing the raging issue, only remarking that he prays for any parties or candidates who come to him for prayers.
“Nobody had ever told me what to say in this world. No. I have never campaigned for or speak on anybody’s behalf and will not do that until I go to heaven.
“There is no (political) party in this country that didn’t come to me for prayers and advice. I advised them, some, they didn’t take. Those who chose to take it, see results; those who said no, are going about it. If you still come again, I will still tell you, it doesn’t change,” he said.
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