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The Muslim Community in Awka, Anambra State has clarified that their invitation to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, to their mosque this season was to fraternise with him as they always do in the past, and to encourage him on his journey to a New Nigeria, not minding the falsehoods that are been thrown against him.
They disclosed that they had wanted to visit Mr. Peter Obi at his house in Onitsha, but that on receiving their invitation, Obi offered to visit them at the mosque and celebrate Eid el Fitr with them.
Speaking at the Central Mosque in Awka during Obi’s visit on Monday 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 Obi for his visible contributions to the development of their community over the years.
Gidado stated that under the Obi administration as governor, many of their children received scholarships. He revealed that many of their members were sponsored for pilgrimage to Mecca by Obi, and since Obi left office, that tradition ended. “No Governor has sponsored any of us to Mecca since Obi left office,” Gidado said.
He continued, ‘Some of our members applied for agricultural loans under Peter Obi’s administration, and they were approved, without knowing us in person. 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.’
The leader of Awka Muslim Community, Alhaji Garba Sarki, in his speech, stressed 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. He said that 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 appealed to 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. He called on Nigerians to continue to love and support one another for a better nation.
Obi 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.