Kongi, ‘Yes-Daddy’ And ‘Religious War’?
Penultimate week or thereabout the private telephonic conversation between the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the celebrated Winners Chapel presiding Bishop, David Oyedepo, was leaked to the public and it went viral on the social media. The online media platform, Peoples Gazette, was the first digital media outlet to exclusively report the story. It has continued to trend online ever since eliciting mixed reactions from Nigerians.
Reacting to the leaked audio conversation the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide had made it clear that before the election took place almost all the candidates had sought his prayers.
Now, Peter Obi himself had questioned the conversation itself alleging that it was doctored at best (and at worse faked) to fit into the pattern of demarketing him by the APC ruling party and their mob of criminals online and offline. He had consequently threatened to sue the Peoples Gazette for libel or defamation.
But in the ‘Obidient’ movement camp there had been both denials and acknowledgement of the authenticity of the audio dialogue between the great revered man of God and the charismatic popular former Anambra State Governor.
Yet, it must be admitted that there was nothing incriminating about the leaked private conversation. However, what must have made it rankling for some folks was when during the course of the dialogue Obi was alleged to have declared to the affirmative of the rich Pastor that the presidential poll (held on the 25th of February) was akin to a “religious war”!
Globally politics is recognised as a war fought with ideas and not with bullets and weapons. In many countries around the world (generally Africa and particularly Nigeria) when general elections are conducted blood always flows. Folks get battered and bloodied and others get injured.
In Lagos, for example, before and during the gubernatorial poll, the re-election of the incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, witnessed ethnic profiling of the Igbos, intimidation, violence and arson. MC Oluomo and his army of Jagaban thugs and touts made sure that Asiwaju’s Lagos personal fiefdom endured!
Following the ‘Yes-Daddy’ audio leakage Obi had been called names — ethnic and religious bigot, Biafran Champion etc. But those accusing the decent man of being an ethnic bigot or religious fanatic should look elsewhere for culprits. Obi is neither an ethnic bigot nor a religious fundamentalist.
Peter Obi is a decent politician who was offering his services to Nigerians towards national rebirth and greatness. Those misunderstanding his messages or inputting negative meanings to his public engagements must learn to be responsible and gentle as he is. Obi means well and he is a patriot!
The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has equally been in the news lately following the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as the controversial ‘President-elect’. Before and during the presidential poll our good old ‘Kongi’ never endorsed any candidate even though he now claims that he told off Tinubu and Atiku prior to the polls telling them to drop off the political space and allow the younger generation to pilot the nation’s affairs.
Now the literary lion has decided to join the fray. And he is not taking sides. He said he had told Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, that his ‘Obidient’ supporters might cause him to lose the election. Again, he had taken on the LP’s vice-presidential candidate, Datti-Ahmed, describing his comments on an interview with a national TV (that swearing-in Asiwaju Tinubu on May 29 would be the ‘end of democracy in Nigeria’) as “fascist”.
But there’s nothing fascistic in Datti’s remarks. Democracy ought to thrive in an atmosphere of fairness and justice. How can a man who organized an audacious electoral heist be rewarded with Aso Villa when his opponents dissatisfied with the compromised process that produced him are out there in court awaiting justice?
With due respect to the great WS we hold that what Datti said on that controversial Channels TV interview did not correspond to the meaning of fascism. Unless the meaning of fascism would have to be re-defined to suit the old Prof’s categorization Kongi misfired!
The anger and rage in the land following the Asiwaju pyrrhic presidential victory is still mounting yet the Nobel laureate decided to jump into the debate with a slanted view unbecoming of his global statesmanly status.
While no sane mind could accuse Prof. Soyinka of pandering to the political whims and caprices of the Lagos aging godfather it boggles the mind his ‘fascist’ opinion as it concerned the Datti Channels interview.
But in all truism there is a religious war going on in our country and Peter Obi never started nor partook in it. Yes, Nigeria is at war with herself: economic war, social war and now political war.
If what Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are doing up north — slaughtering folks, kidnapping others (including students) for ransom, committing arson and vowing to turn Nigeria into an Islamic Republic with sharia law displacing the constitution — do not amount to a religious war then nothing qualifies to be called one.
Between Kongi, the ‘Yes-Daddy’ leaked telephonic conversation and the alleged pronouncement of the word ‘religious war’ by Peter Obi we are all living in interesting political times. A time when propaganda is polluting the air; a time when scoundrels masquerading as patriots try to register an impression in the mind of the crooked one currently undergoing treatment in a Paris hospital for an undisclosed ailment.
At a time like this, however, voices of reason must be made to prevail! Whatever is stolen politically or electorally must be returned to the ‘owners’ for peace to reign, going forward.
It is not strange when worshippers call their Pastors, Bishops or Apostles ‘Daddy’. It is a mark of respect. Bishop Oyedepo is a senior evangelical figure who is known to be pro-people. He may not have openly endorsed Obi prior to the presidential poll but his body language sounded ‘Obidient’!
Again, it is not strange when one alludes to a religious war for we are already at war, declared or undeclared, religious or carnal.