The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has challenged the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to clarify the authenticity of a leaked conversation he allegedly had with a prominent Nigerian cleric, Bishop David Oyedepo.
Recall that Obi was alleged in the said leaked audio to have described the 2023 presidential election as a religious war and urged Bishop Oyedepo to help him mobilize Christian votes.
However, the former Governor of Anambra State denied the authenticity of the phone conversation and disclosed he has instructed his lawyers to take action against the news platform that first released the purported tape.
Reacting to the development, The Peoples Gazette said the leaked alleged audio conversation between Obi and Oyedepo is real, adding that it stands by its publication.
Speaking in a chat with journalists in London on Monday, Mohammed said the leaked audio rattled Nigerians because Obi was heard pleading with Oyedepo to interfere on his behalf to convince Christians that this is a religious war
The minister, however, asked the former Anambra governor Obi to clarify what he meant when he said the leaked conversation was “a fake doctored audio call.”
He said: “I need to draw the attention of Nigerians to the recently-leaked audio of a conversation between the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and the cleric.
“The leaked audio rattled Nigerians because we heard Obi pleading with the cleric to interfere on his behalf to convince Christians that this is a religious war and they should support him.
“If it is fake, it means it never took place. But if it is doctored, it means there was that conversation but it was manipulated.
“Obi needs to come out and make the clarification on whether the conversation did not take place or it took place, but it was doctored.
“If it was doctored, which part of it was doctored? Is it the beginning, the middle, or the end or is it the ‘Yes Daddy’ part of it, or where he said it was a religious war?”
Mohammed stated that the leaked audio corroborated the position that the electioneering campaign of the LP flagbearer was based on religion and ethnicity.
The minister said this was the first time in the history of Nigeria’s elections that a politician would come out openly to campaign on grounds of religion and ethnicity.
He added: “From the outcome of the presidential elections, you will see that Obi got his vote mostly from the areas where he comes from and his religious leaning.
“This is not good for the politics of Nigeria and it is very dangerous.
“As a result of this kind of campaign, Nigeria is more divided than ever and people are being heard commenting either based on their religious position or ethnic origin.
“Many otherwise respected commentators are not left behind on the effect of this divisive politics.”