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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded elections, Peter Obi has appealed to Muslims not to allow politics to divide Nigeria irrespective of tribe and religion because as he puts it Nigeria is one.
Obi who made this known when he visited the Muslim faithful at Central Mosque, Onitsha, Anambra State on Sunday, said that the only thing that always brought segregation among Nigerians was politics, especially as played by some politicians in the country, who want to sow seed of discord, just to win the election.
He noted that he visited Muslims in the city to felicitate with them on the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr.
Obi donated bags of rice, cartons of noodles, and packs of soft drinks to them, while praying Allah to accept their fasting and sacrifices and grant them good life.
He said: ‘I’m here today to celebrate with you on this year’s occasion of Eid-el-Fitri. Nigeria is one country. I’m one Nigerian who believes in Nigeria, and also that we are one, irrespective of tribe and religion. I have never discriminated against anyone on the basis of religion, and I will never do that.’
‘The only thing that brings division among us is politics. Once it’s time for election, some politicians engage in divisive campaign, but it should not be so. One of my businesses is run by a northerner from Kano, and the business is doing well.
‘You all are my brothers, and I am your brother. Today is not for politics but for celebration. I came after election because if I came during politics, people would have said it is because I am running to be president’.
Obi said that no one has supported the Muslim community in Anambra like himself, noting that when the mosque was demolished at some point, it was he who rebuilt it the way it is today.
‘We see you as part of us, and I want to assure you that no one can stop you from living here and carrying out your businesses.
‘I live here in Onitsha, and if there is any need to contact me, always do so. If you need me in the area of healthcare and education, feel free to call on me, because those are areas I’m very passionate about.’
Earlier, Chief Imam of Onitsha Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdulraman Imam, praised Obi, saying he remained the only governor in the state, who visited members of the Muslim community at every celebration to felicitate with them.
He added: ‘This mosque was rebuilt by you when it was demolished years back. You visited us in Army barracks when we had problem then. All the years you were governor, you always visited us during celebrations like this, so you are not new to us.
‘For the eight years you were governor, you sponsored a lot of our members to Mecca. You did all these, even though you are a Christian. That is why we say we are with you, even as a Christian.’
Also, the Secretary and Spokesperson of the Hausa community in Onitsha, Barr. Mahmud Imam, while conveying the declaration of the community to Obi, stated that it has decided to support Obi, and would continue to pray that he triumphs and leads Nigeria, because his capacity to lead is not in doubt.