By Miftaudeen Raji
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, has confirmed that he had a phone conversation with the founder of Winners Chapel, David Oyedepo, but he never described the 2023 election as a “religious war.”
Obi stated this while speaking on issue on Arise Television on Monday, saying he called the cleric to solicit votes.
Recall that an audio conversation between Obi and Oyedepo had leaked in April.
Following the the release of the clip, Obi had the audio was doctored, adding that at no time did he “ever say, think, or even imply that the 2023 election is, or was a religious war.”
Obi said, “Call it whatever you want to call it. Whatever anyone wants to make of it. I am not a religious bigot. Do you think I can just pick a phone and say ‘religious war’? No, I was even begging the bishop to help me ask his people to vote, which was what I was doing for six months — begging,” Obi said.
“I wasn’t saying ‘catch him’, ‘kill him’, ‘force it’. I was even begging. That shows that I continued to look for votes by begging. There were so many things we tried to do but they were not okay.
“Let me tell you; those who have been trying to manipulate Nigerians have been doing it. But it is coming to an end. The people they have been manipulating are dying of hunger.
“They will soon know who is the religious or tribal bigot. I am not one. I have just given you an example of how I built mosques. Till today, no non-Muslim governor has sent more people to Mecca than me.
“I can never say it (election) is a religious war. Because it is not. There was a conversation. But I never said it was a religious war. What for? I am surrounded by people.
“If there was ever an instance where the presidential candidate and his deputy work as brothers, it is me and Datti. And I know and we never stop talking about it.
“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, we have a presidential candidate, running mate and party chairman who were born after Nigeria’s independence.
“We must save this country and he (Datti) knows my commitment to it. I can’t do all these with the background of religious war.”