By Ogochukwu Isioma
The Awka Muslim Community has explained that their invitation to the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, to their mosque was to fraternise with him as they always did in the past, and to encourage him on his journey to New Nigeria, not minding the falsehoods peddled against him.
They said that they had wanted to visit the former Anambra governor at his house in Onitsha, Anambra State. However, on receiving their invitation, Mr Obi offered to visit them at the mosque instead and celebrate Eid-el-Fitr with them, as he always did in the past.
Speaking at the Central Mosque in Awka, the Anambra State capital during Obi’s visit, the Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, recalled that Obi never failed to celebrate their Sallah with them when he was the Governor of the state, a ritual he continued after.
He praised the LP presidential candidate for his visible contributions to the development of their community over the years.
Gidado explained that under Obi administration as Governor, many of their children received scholarship.
He revealed that many of their members were sponsored for pilgrimage to Mecca by the ex-governor, and since Obi left office, that tradition ended.
“No Governor has sponsored any of us to Mecca since Obi left office,” Gidado said.
“Some of our members applied for agricultural loans under Peter Obi’s administration, and they were approved, without knowing us in persons. Such a thing has never happened. Obi treated us like indigenes and made us feel at home in Anambra. He did not segregate between Muslims and Christians, nor between Northerners and Easterners,” Gidado added.
The Leader of Awka Muslim Community, Alhaji Garba Sarki, in his speech, maintained that the many lies told by traducers to tarnish Obi’s image in the North is sad.
He said he was willing to tell the whole world who Obi is, and how he has helped their community to grow in the state.
According to him, the Muslim Community in Awka supported Obi’s bid for presidency because they know and understand the kind of person he is and how prepared he is to change the trajectory of the nation.
In his speech, Obi appreciated the Community for their love and support, and urged the people to resist any attempt to divide the nation along religious and tribal lines.
He maintained that a prosperous economy will be beneficial both to Christians and Muslims, and as such, all should join hands to make the nation better.
The LP presidential candidate called on Nigerians to continue to love and support one another for a better nation.
Obi, who was accompanied by Chief Celestine Okoye (Retd DIG), the House of Representatives-elect, Prof. Oby Orogbu and his former commissioners, namely: Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna; Barr. Peter Afuba, SAN; Mr. Ndubisi Menakaya; Dr. Patrick Obi; Lady Henrietta Agbata; Mr. Fidel Okafor as well as House of Assembly Member-elect, Hon. Henry Mbachu presented his material and cash gifts to the community and wished them well.