By Wilson Adekumola
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in the general election conducted on February 25 has admitted to having a private telephone conversation with founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo.
Obi made this disclosure while featuring on Arise Television on Monday night.
LP flag bearer, however, denied describing the presidential poll as a ‘religious war’.
Reports on leaked conversation allegedly between Peter Obi and Bishop Oyedepo, where the former was heard pleading with the cleric to help use his influence to canvass for support and votes of Christians in southwestern states and Kogi went viral in the news including social media platforms.
According to the he leaked audio conversation which was said to have taken place before February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi was heard describing the poll as a ‘religious war that must be won’, and the release of the audio generated controversies and criticisms for the LP standard bearer.
While responding to the question whether the phone call dubbed ‘Yes Daddy’ actually took place on the incident with Arise TV on Monday night, the former Anambra State Governor admitted he had a private conversation with the Bishop to beg him for support, stating however, that he never described the poll as ‘religious war’.
On 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. 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.”
The LP candidate added that he was never a religious bigot, noting that no non-muslim governor has ever sent more people to Mecca than he did as a governor.
“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 (poll) 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,” he added.