Presidential Candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, has broken his silence on the leaked audio of his conversation with Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide.
The audio clip released by online newspaper, Peoples Gazzete, has set social media on fire since Saturday.
In the audio, Obi was heard begging Oyedepo to help him mobilize Christian voters ahead of the election, especially those in the North Central states of Kwara, Kogi and Niger, declaring the election was a religious war.
The former governor of Anambra State was repeatedly heard saying, ‘Yes Daddy”, while the conversation lasted.
“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,” he said in the audio.
The audio generated so many reactions, not just on social media. While his supporters claimed the audio was doctored, Obi’s media team gave different accounts on the leaked conversation.
Obi took an unusual break from the microblogging platform after the conversation leaked.
But the presidential candidate, who has a large following on the site, returned on Tuesday morning to congratulate the winner of an academic prize.
Hours after this, he gave a tacit reaction, saying a campaign of calumny had been “directed at my person” in the past few days.
The presidential candidate, who neither denied nor confirmed the audio, also said his campaign was not based on ethnicity or religion
He tackled Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who accused him of treason, saying there were efforts to portray him in a bad light.
“In the past few days, I have observed various campaigns of calumny directed at my person, with the latest being allegations attributed to the information Minister, Lai Mohammed from Washington DC.”
“It is most unfortunate that these consistent efforts to portray me quite contrary to what I am, and my core values, is coming from such high quarters. Minister Lai accusing me of stoking insurrection is totally malicious and fictitious.
“I have never discussed or encouraged anyone to undermine the Nigerian state; I have never sponsored or preached any action against the Nigerian state. Those initiating these actions have increasingly used their official positions and agents to make false allegations against me.
“I am on record as always, advocating for peace and issue-based campaign and never campaigned based on ethnicity or religion. I am committed to due process, and presently seeking redress in the Court.
“I urge those engaged in this demarketing process to stop presenting Nigeria in such bad light. Our future generations deserve a new Nigeria, where they can live a secure and decent life like their counterparts in other climes. It is possible,” he said in a series of tweets.