Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has come under heavy criticism over the leaked conversation he had 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 mobilise 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.
While verifying the authenticity of the audio in a statement in the wee hours of Sunday, Kenneth Okonkwo, spokesperson for the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign, claimed it was taken out of context by critics.
But Festus Keyamo, who was spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, described the utterances of Oyedepo and Obi as shameful.
According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), God exposed Obi for declaring a religious war in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country.
“Having confirmed the authenticity of what is now known as the Peter Obi ‘Yes-daddy’ audio, I think the real culprit here are the so-called ‘men of God’ who allowed themselves to be used by an unscrupulous politician to seek to inflame religious passions in our dear country in the name of politics.
“So, when they were telling their hapless adherents that they heard the voice of the Lord, it was actually Peter Obi’s telephone calls they heard and not God’s voice. This is deceitful, shameful and disgusting. Imagine a so-called ‘man of God’ comparing notes with a politician as to what he said or what he would say on the pulpit in order to get him votes.
“I hope this sufficiently embarrasses the ‘men of God’ in Nigeria to forthwith desist from using the pulpit for politics and the Church-goers to stop being teleguided by their self-serving ‘men of God’.
“As for Peter Obi who declared an election a ‘religious war’ in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country like ours, the real God has just exposed him and his dream to be Nigeria’s President one day has just died a natural death. ‘Yes-daddy’ is now permanently etched in the consciousness of the nation and we will NEVER forget!”
Earlier, Director General of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Balogun Akin Osuntokun, told Daily Trust that he had nothing to say on the matter.
On his part, Femi Fani-Kayode, Director, New Media sub-committee of the APC, described Obi as a religious bigot.
Tweeting via his handle, @realFFK, Fani-Kayode said, “For Peter to describe the presidential election as a religious war tells you that he is nothing but an insufferable, irresponsible and uncouth intellectual barbarian and fraud and an ethnic and religious bigot.”
In a statement, Chairman, Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/ NEPAD, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, accused Obi of weaponsing religion and ethnicity.
Nnamani said reviewing the activities of the elections, he came to a conclusion that “Peter Obi deflowered the virgin innocence of political patriotism and nationalism in Nigeria”.
“What was in whispers and hush tones, Peter proclaimed loud in decibels in Cathedrals and Holy Sepulchres.
“The Roman Catholic dominant politics Peter mastered and foisted on Anambra people when he was a Governor was a prelude to his nation wide campaigns. The Roman Catholic’s Family Trinity of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, was what Peter spread ecumenically across the Faith landscape as the Labour Party’s symbol of Father, Mother and Child.”
“For his ethnic war, he spread across Igbo domiciled areas across Nigeria, specifically markets and shopping malls. He picked out Christian minority areas for his campaigns in Northern and Central Nigeria. His dual opium of tribalism and religious bigotry have made national landing to depart no more. He fed our people with the sacred apple and Nigeria may never be the same again.”
Obi has been silent since the audio went viral, but his supporters have been trying to defend him.