A leaked audio recording of a phone conversation between former governor of Anambra State and the Labour Party Presidential Flag bearer in the just concluded presidential election, Peter Obi, and Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, has gone viral on social media recently, raising concerns about religious intolerance in Nigeria as first reported by People’s Gazette. In the audio, Peter Obi and Bishop Oyedepo can be heard discussing the role of religion in Nigerian politics, with Bishop Oyedepo expressing concerns about the treatment of Christians in the country.
In a telephone conversation leaked to Peoples Gazette, Peter Obi begged Bishop David Oyedepo to help canvass Christian votes on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election.
Religion became central to the campaign after Bola Tinubu tapped a fellow Muslim running mate in a nation… pic.twitter.com/U2LmYVJ2kk
— Peoples Gazette (@GazetteNGR) April 1, 2023
However, there are claims that the audio is a deepfake – a manipulated audio or video that appears to be real. FactcheckElections seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the situation, including whether the audio recording is genuine or a deepfake. It also highlights the importance of fact-checking in today’s world, especially given the prevalence of deepfakes and misinformation.
The leaked audio recording, which is about 4:17 mins long, has generated controversy since it was first posted online a few days ago. Some people claim that it is a deep fake, while others argue that it is genuine and that the conversation between Peter Obi and Bishop Oyedepo raises concerns about religious intolerance in Nigeria. The audio has also sparked debates about the role of religion in Nigerian politics and the need for tolerance and understanding between different religious groups.
In this report, FactcheckElections provides a balanced and well-researched overview of the situation. This report delves into the question of whether the audio recording is genuine or a deepfake and provides expert opinions on the matter. It will also explore the role of AI in fact-checking and highlight the importance of verifying the authenticity of information in today’s world.
The leaked audio recording of a phone conversation between Peter Obi and Bishop David Oyedepo has generated significant controversy since it first appeared online. In the recording, which is about 4:17 mins long, Bishop Oyedepo can be heard expressing concerns about the treatment of Christians in Nigeria and the need for religious tolerance. He also accuses the Nigerian government of favoring one religion over others.
The controversy surrounding the audio recording has been compounded by conflicting statements from different individuals and organizations. The Labour Party, campaign spokes man Kenneth Okonkwo for instance, initially affirmed that the recording was genuine while condemning the context of portrayal in the report about it. “It is not surprising that these political criminals are trying to spin the conversation as if Obi was making a religious statement,” said Okonkwo in a series of tweets. However, the party later retracted its statement, claiming that it was misled by an online source.
Similarly, Bishop Oyedepo, has neither denied nor affirmed that the conversation ever took place but only said in defense that he never campaigned for any politician. In a statement, the church claimed that the audio was a fabrication and that Bishop Oyedepo had never spoken to Peter Obi. Also Peter Obi himself has claimed he never said the election is a religious war.
These conflicting statements have only served to deepen the confusion surrounding the viral audio recording. As a result, there is an urgent need for fact-checking and investigation to ascertain the authenticity of the recording and the context in which the conversation took place.
FactcheckElections used a variety of methods to analyze the audio recording, including examining the waveform, the spectrogram, and the frequency distribution of the recording. We also compared the recording with other recordings of Peter Obi and Bishop Oyedepo’s voices to ascertain whether the recording was genuine.
After extensive analysis, it was concluded that the audio recording was genuine and had not been manipulated or altered in any way. We can point out that the recording had all the characteristics of a genuine conversation, including natural pauses and the use of interjections.
However, it is important to note that the authenticity of the recording does not necessarily mean that the conversation between Peter Obi and Bishop Oyedepo reflects the entire context of their interaction. There may have been other elements of the conversation that were not captured in the leaked recording, and it is therefore important to exercise caution in drawing conclusions based solely on the recording.
Deep Fake and Controversies
The use of deepfake technology to create manipulated audio or video content is becoming increasingly prevalent, and it is essential to be vigilant in verifying the authenticity of information in the digital age. As this case shows, conflicting statements from different sources can lead to confusion, and it is crucial to rely on expert analysis and forensic methods to ascertain the authenticity of content.
Another area of argument raised in the public includes that the conversation was staged and the two individuals were mimicked throughout the conversation and it wasn’t an AI generated voice note nor the voice of the two said individuals. While the audio recording has been verified as genuine, there is still much debate about the context and implications of the conversation.
However, the controversy surrounding the audio recording underscores the importance of fact-checking and the need for reliable information in the digital age. Deepfake technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it is essential to rely on expert analysis and verification to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of information.
The viral audio recording of the conversation between Peter Obi and Bishop David Oyedepo is a complex story with many implications for Nigerian politics and society. Through careful fact-checking and verification, we can ensure that accurate and reliable information is disseminated to the public, and that important issues are discussed in a respectful and productive manner.