ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, has appealed to the Muslim community in Anambra State to disregard anyone accusing him of disliking Northerners.
Bashir Ahmad, a special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier berated the former Anambra State Governor Obi, and accused him of disliking the North, adding that the region would never support his presidential ambition.
Obi made the appeal at the Central Mosque, Onitsha, Anambra State, on Sunday, where he went to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr with the Muslim ummah residing in the state.
While presenting food items and cash gift of N500,000 to the Community, Obi explained that his visit was to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr with them as he has always done.
He promised to continue to support the Muslims in the State and other parts of the country.
Reiterating the need for Nigerians to love and appreciate one another, he stated that every Nigerian should be free to live and thrive in any part of the country without intimidation or harassment.
“I am a Nigerian who believes in Nigeria. My ADC when I was Governor, Idris, is a Northerner from Kano State, and he is a good man. I have never discriminated against anyone based on religion or tribe, and I will never do that. I want the whole nation to hold me accountable on this. I will never discriminate against anybody. I will continue to support you especially in areas of education, health and your worship.
“Please disregard anyone who tells you that I do not like the Northerners. I love every Nigerian,” Obi said.
The Secretary of the Muslim Community in Anambra, Barr Mahmoud Imam, in his speech on behalf of others, registered their displeasure with what he described as unnecessary lies and propaganda against Obi in the politics of Nigeria.
He said Obi has remained supportive to the Muslim community from his days as the Governor of Anambra State.
Imam further described Obi as a true and detribalized Nigerian who does not segregate against tribe, religion or ethnicity.
He said they were not happy with the religious and ethnic colouration being given to Obi and his quest for New Nigeria.
According to him, Obi is a man who has continued to give them support through many challenges they have been through, as people in the State.
“We follow the news, and we are not pleased with the many negative stories people tell about Obi’s relationship with the North. We here are not only close to Obi, but we have remained the consistent beneficiaries of his benevolence. So we can say, authoritatively, that the stories making the rounds online, that Peter Obi does not care for Northerners, are false.
“When our mosque was burnt down, he quickly rebuilt it for us, and made it even better. During the crisis that erupted in the State in 2006, Obi ensured that no Hausa man was hurt. He gave us maximum security in the barracks. Throughout his 8 years as a Governor, he would invite us to the government house every year during Sallah celebration, eat and celebrate with us. This time around, he decided to visit and celebrate with us in the mosque.
“Many of our people here, not less than 150 were sponsored by Peter Obi to Mecca for pilgrimage, over the years. We equally watched his movements during the campaign, how he toured the Northern part of Nigeria and visited places no one expected. We are happy with our relationship with him and with the North. He is a true Nigerian,” Imam said.