The candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi, has said the leaked audio of a conversation allegedly between him and the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, is fake.
The audio purportedly had Obi telling Oyedepo that the presidential election was a religious war and that the clergyman should help him beg people in the South-West and Kwara State, especially Christians, to support his ambition.
Reacting, Obi, in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, said at no point in his “issue-based campaign” did he ever refer to the election as a religious war.
He also lamented alleged attempts by the ruling All Progressives Congress to divert “attention from our blatantly stolen mandate.”
He said, “These have come and continued to manifest in different ways, such as the malicious accusation of the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, the circulation of a fake doctored audio call, and pressure on me to leave the country.
“Let me reiterate that the audio call being circulated is fake, and at no time throughout the campaign and now did I ever say, think, or even imply that the 2023 election is, or was a religious war.”
The former governor of Anambra State said his legal team had been instructed to take appropriate legal actions against the online media platform that published the leaked audio.
“While we call on all concerned Nigerians and the international community to implore the APC and the APC-led government to stop their nasty attacks, my focus and commitment to lawfully and peacefully retrieve our mandate to secure and unite our nation, take Nigeria from consumption to production, pull millions of Nigerians out of multidimensional poverty, especially in the north, and jumpstart prosperity through agricultural, industrial, and technological revolution remain unchanged.
“Elections are over, and we are in court to retrieve our stolen mandate. Let me reiterate that we are doing so through all lawful and peaceful options in line with our legal system and constitution, and I continue to implore all Nigerians to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
“Those fixated on heating up the polity, creating divisions, tensions and hatred within and outside Nigeria should remember that Nigeria is our only country. Our focus should be on how to address the litany of challenges facing us, such as flawed electoral processes, the parlous state of our economy, unsustainable debt burden, lamentable unemployment and inflation, insecurity, and multi-dimensional poverty. A New Nigeria is indeed POssible, and God will help us.”