The Federal Government has challenged the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, to clarify his position on a leaked audio of the conversation he allegedly had with a prominent Nigerian cleric.
The audio clip as released by an online newspaper was an alleged conversation between Obi and the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo.
Addressing the media on Monday in London, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Obi should clarify what he meant by saying the leaked conversation was “a fake doctored audio call.”
“I need to draw the attention of Nigerians to the recent leaked audio of 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,” he said.
The minister said that in the aftermath of the leaked audio, Obi came out to say that it was “a fake, doctored audio call.”
The minister said: ” 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 said the leaked audio had corroborated the position that Obi’s electioneering campaign was based on religion and ethnicity.
He 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.
“From the outcome of the presidential elections you will see that Obi got his vote mostly from 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,” he said.
Speaking on his mission to London, the minister said it was to defend the legitimacy of the just concluded general elections and to correct the imbalance in the skewed narrative which had pervaded the air on the polls
He said, like what he did recently in Washington, he would let the world know that the 2023 election was the freest in Nigeria’s history.
NAN reports that the minister is scheduled to hold conversations and meetings with international media organisations and relevant think tanks based in London