Lai Mohammed, Peter Obi bicker over leaked audio conversation with Oyedepo

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, was yesterday at daggers-drawn over the latter’s alleged audio conversation with the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo.
In the controversial leaked audio of the conversation on the eve of the presidential poll on February 25, Obi allegedly begged Oyedepo to mobilise Christians in Kwara and South-West states to vote for him because the election was a religious war.

Addressing the media in London Monday, Lai Mohammed, said Obi should clarify what he meant by saying the leaked conversation was “a fake, doctored audio call.”

Responding to the challenge, the Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party, yesterday expressed disappointment at the Federal Government which it said failed in its primary duty of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, even while making the bashing of Obi a top priority.

It said the Federal Government should be ashamed of its failures and barefaced lies.

Why Obi must clarify issues —Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed 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 intervene on his behalf to convince Christians that this is a religious war and they should support him.”

The minister said that in the aftermath of the leaked audio, Obi came out to say it was “a fake, doctored audio call.”

“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.

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“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.

He said the leaked audio had corroborated the position that Obi’s electioneering campaign was based on religion and ethnicity.
According to him, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria’s elections that a politician would come out openly to campaign on the grounds of religion and ethnicity.

“From the outcome of the presidential elections, you will see that Obi got his votes 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.

FG should be ashamed of its failures, barefaced lies —LP PCC

However, the chief spokesman of the LP PCC, Dr Yunusa Tanko, in a telephone interview with Vanguard, in Abuja, expressed disappointment at the Federal Government, which had not only failed in its primary duty of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians, but had pushed the bashing of LP’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, to the front burner.

Zuma Rock, Abuja

He said: “We are disappointed but not surprised that the Federal Government which has failed in its primary responsibility of securing the lives and property of Nigerians across this country has made Obi-bashing a top priority.

“As for Mr Lai Mohammed, it is unfortunate that a minister, who has all the time to use his office to pressure the National Communications Commission, NCC, to slam a N5 million fine on Channels Television for performing its constitutional role is now asking our candidate to play a script written by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to divert attention from the ongoing challenge to our stolen mandate.

“One may ask at this point: Is he also part of the plot to justify the unjustifiable electoral fraud? How come to the minister is now using taxpayers’ funds to globe-trot to lie to the international community about the sham of an election?

“He should be ashamed of himself that he has been put in a position to play the role of an advocate for INEC.

“INEC claimed there was a glitch while it attempted to upload the results of the presidential election but typical of Mr. Lai Mohammed, he is going around telling the world that INEC deliberately refused to upload the results on its IREV portal.

“The minister owes himself and Nigerians a duty to find and expose the source of the so-called leaked audio which was doctored to suit a narrative capable of creating chaos in the polity.”

I’ve never campaigned or spoken for any politician — Oyedepo

Speaking on the issue penultimate Sunday, Bishop Oyedepo said he never campaigned for any politician or spoke on their behalf in the build-up to the 2023 polls.

Speaking to his congregation at the headquarters of Faith Tabernacle, Ota, Ogun State, in reaction to the alleged leaked audio between him and Obi, on the eve of the presidential poll, Oyedepo said he never spoke to any group of people on behalf of any politician.

“I have never campaigned for anybody or spoken on anybody’s behalf and I will not do that till I go to heaven.

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‘’There is no party in this country that didn’t come to me for prayers and advice. I advised them, some, they didn’t take. Those who chose to take it saw results; those who said ‘no’ are still going about it. If you still come again, I will still tell you, it doesn’t change,” he said.

Vanguard