Mr. Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has denied portraying the 2023 elections as a holy war, claiming that he is under pressure to go into exile.
In a weekend leaked audio recording, Obi can be heard asking Bishop David Oyedepo, Founder of Living Faith Church International, to assist him to canvass Christian votes.
In addition, he stated that the election was a religious conflict and that he needed the assistance of the influential man of God to reach the South West and Kwara State.
In a flurry of Wednesday night tweets, Obi denied the conversation and threatened legal action against Peoples Gazette, the website that published the recording.
“It is unfortunate and disheartening that the APC as a Party and the APC-led government, through various government officials and agencies, are attempting to deflect our focus from our brazenly stolen mandate.
“They have manifested in various ways, including the nasty accusation of the Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, the spread of a fabricated audio recording, and pressure on me to leave the country.
Obi stated, “Let me emphasise that the tape call being distributed is a hoax, and that I have never said, thought, or even implied that the 2023 election is or was a religious war.”
Speaking about the February 25 presidential election that he is contesting at the election tribunal, after placing third behind Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Obi stated, “Before, during, and after the campaign, it is on record that I have maintained my commitment and focus on issue-based campaign about a New Nigeria that is possible, a shift in emphasis from consumption to production, a New Nigeria characterised by inclusion,
“I have consistently maintained that no one should vote for me based on their tribe or religion, but rather on the evaluation of my character, competence, capacity, credibility, and compassion, which can be relied upon to build a New Nigeria!.
“Attempts to manipulate Nigerians are terribly unfortunate and evil. Our legal team has been tasked with taking legal action against Peoples Gazette and others.
“While we call on all concerned Nigerians and the international community to urge the APC and the APC-led government to stop their vicious 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, particularly in the North, and jumpstart prosperity through agricultural, industrial, and technological revolution remains unwavering.”
“Elections have concluded, and we are in court attempting to recover our stolen mandate. Let me to stress that we are employing all legal and peaceful options in accordance with our legal system and constitution, and I continue to urge all Nigerians to be law abiding and peaceful.
“Those intent on inflaming the political climate, sowing discord, tension, and animosity within and outside Nigeria should remember that Nigeria is our only nation. Our attention should be on addressing the multitude of difficulties we face, including as defective electoral systems, the precarious situation of our economy, an unmanageable debt burden, dismal unemployment and inflation, insecurity, and multidimensional poverty. Obi stated, “A New Nigeria is Certainly Possible, and God will assist us.”