The Labour Party campaign council has asked Nigerians to disregard any insinuation of religious bigotry linked to a viral audio clip of Peter Obi, its presidential candidate, and David Oyedepo, the founder of Winners Chapel.
In the audio clip, a voice similar to that of Obi can be heard asking the cleric to speak to the Christians in the south-west and Kwara to vote for him in the presidential poll, describing the election as a “religious war”.
While some Obi supporters described the audio as fake, Kenneth Okonkwo, a spokesperson of the LP campaign, in a series of posts on his official Twitter handle said “political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if the LP candidate was making a religious comment”.
“Our attention has been drawn to the publication of this audio tape of 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,” Okonkwo said.
“Firstly, the context of the conversation was 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’.
“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 Christendom because the politicians of the other party are 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.”
According to Okonkwo, it is the ruling party that has declared religious war on Nigerians. He added that Nigerians “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.”