Is your statement ‘Christians, take back your country’ in online video also fake? — MURIC asks Peter Obi


An Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked Mr. Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 presidential election if a video in which he is seen telling Christians to take back their country is also fake.
The group stated this in a statement issued on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 by Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Executive Director of the Islamic human rights organisation, following Peter Obi’s denial of the authenticity of the leaked ‘Yes Daddy’ audio tape.

The audio in which Obi described the 2023 presidential election as a ‘religious war’ was first published by an online newspaper, Peoples Gazette.
In the leaked phone conversation, Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide,  prayed for Obi, saying, “In Jesus’ name, we are going to get a bright tomorrow,” with Obi replying by saying, “When I hear these prayers, it is very dear to me and like I keep saying, if this thing works, you people will never regret the support.”
Continuing the conversation, Oyedepo said, “We look forward to God’s intervention,” to which Obi responded by saying, “Thank you, Daddy. I need you to speak to your people in the Southwest and Kwara. The Christians in the Southwest and Kwara.” Bishop Oyedepo said: “Okay.”

Obi continued by saying, “This is a religious war,” with Oyedepo responding immediately, “I believe you, I believe that. You know, I did a release, ‘Nigeria going forward’ and I’m coming out with the second one today.”
After maintaining for some days, Obi later released a statement, claiming the “audio call being circulated is fake, and at no time throughout the campaign and now did I ever say, think, or even imply that the 2023 election is, or was a religious war”.
However, Obi’s claim contradicts the position of one of the spokespersons for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Kenneth Okonkwo, and the candidate’s Media Assistant, Valentine Obienyem, who had admitted the veracity of the audio.
For instance, Okonkwo, On Sunday, described the leaked audio as a private conversation.
In the video that MURIC made reference to in its statement, Obi is seen addressing a congregation of some Christian faithful. The event was held a few months before the general elections and Obi spoke on why they should ensure competent people were elected to lead Nigeria.
In the video, Obi said, “Please, the church, wake up! Take back your country. God bless you.”
Earlier during his speech, Obi said, “Next year election must be based on characters that we can trust with proving record of the past. It must be by competency. It must be by capacity and commitment. This is a job that requires physical and mental energy and we must get it right. And that is why we are asking the church must be at the forefront.
“Our children cannot continue like this. There is no offence they committed by being a Nigerian. Nigerians are the best we can get in the world. And we have the energy to change this world. All we lack is that we have criminals who have hijacked this country, steal everything away and we are keeping quiet.”
According to MURIC, the silence of Bishop Oyedepo connotes confirmation while the denial by Peter Obi has been substantially diminished by the bishop’s silence regarding the leaked ‘Yes Daddy’ audio tape.
The statement reads in part: “This is a matter that involved two people who have been accused of doing the same thing: one is vehemently denying the incident while the other party is mum. Even if silence does not necessarily mean consent in all cases, we are certain that Nigerians are not fools.
“Perhaps the bishop is being guided by warnings against lying as contained in the Bible, such as ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. (But she died, Genesis 3:4) and ‘Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.’ (Leviticus 19:11).
“Interestingly enough, MURIC is also in possession of a video clip in which Peter Obi spoke with an assembly of Christian clerics and concluded with the words, ‘Christians, take back your country’. Perhaps we should quickly ask the LP presidential candidate another question before we start interrogating the contents of both the audio and video tapes.
“This is our question: ‘Mr. Peter Obi, Sir, is this video clip also fake, doctored or counterfeited?” The group asked.

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