Kenneth Okonkwo, the Labour Party presidential campaign council’s spokesperson, has reacted to a viral audio purportedly between the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church.
Okonkwo, in a tweet thread on Sunday, said “political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if Obi was making a religious statement.”
According to Okonkwo, in a subtle confirmation of the conversation which was said to be before the February 25 presidential election, Obi was only appealing to the Bishop to assist in pushing the message of equal stake in the Nigerian project to his people and Christendom.
He continued, “Firstly, the context of the conversation was aptly put by Bishop Oyedepo when he said “All Nigerians have equal stake in this nation, nobody has the right to claim that he is dashing something to someone”. H E @PeterObi was simply urging the Bishop to help him push this message of equal stake of all Nigerians in the Nigerian project to his people and the christiandom because the politicians of the other party is carrying on this campaign as if it is a religious war.
“To drive home this point, he informed him that he visited the traditional ruler of Offa, the Olofa of Offa, who is a Muslim, but who advised Obi to get the support of Oyedepo and be assured of his own support. No Politician has ever visited the Olofa of Offa. It is clear to everybody that the APC political party that has a Presidential Candidate, Vice Presidential Candidate, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Chairman of the Party all from one religion at a time the CJN is a Muslim is the Party that has declared religious war on Nigerians and we must all rise up together to fight this unconstitutional act of religious intolerance of other religions by APC.”
He went further, urging Nigerians to disregard insinuation of religious bigots about the audio conversation.
“I went around with Obi on campaign train and never saw him discriminate against any religion. Of course he can’t because his Vice is a Muslim unlike APC. I resigned from APC because of their religious intolerance. Nigerians should disregard any insinuation of religious bigots about this tape,” Okonkwo added.
However, in his reaction to the viral audio which has attracted criticism for Obi, Bishop Oyedepo refuted the claim of his involvement in the conversation, saying he has never spoken or solicited any group’s support on behalf of any politician.
He said, “Nobody had ever told me what to say in this world. No. I have never campaigned for anybody or speak on anybody’s behalf and I will not do that till I go to heaven.
“There is no (political) party in this country that didn’t come to me for prayers and for advice. I advised them, some, they didn’t take. Those who chose to take it, they see results; those who said no, they are going about it (laughs). If you still come again, I will still tell you, it doesn’t change.”