The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has accused desperate politicians of using politics to sow seeds of discord among Nigerians.
Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, was in Onitsha to celebrate with the Muslim community as they mark the Sallah holiday on Sunday. He stated that Nigerians are one.
According to him, once politics come onstream some desperate politicians who want to reap from where they did not sow would try to divide the citizens along tribal and religious lines. Obi who donated foodstuff and beverages to them prayed to Allah to accept their fasting and sacrifices and grant them a good life.
He said, “I’m here today to celebrate with you on this year’s occasion. Nigeria is one country. I am one Nigerian who believes in Nigeria, and also that we are one, irrespective of tribe and religion. I have never discriminated against anyone on basis of religion, and I will never do that.
“The only thing that brings division among us is politics. Once it is time for elections, some politicians engage in divisive campaigns, 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 the election because if I came during politics, people would have said it is because I am running to be president.
He continued, “No one has supported the Muslim community in Anambra like me. This mosque was demolished at some point, but when I became governor I 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 said Obi remained the only governor in the state, who visited members of the Muslim community at every celebration to felicitate with them.
“This mosque was rebuilt by you when it was demolished years back. You visited us in the Army barracks when we had a 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,” he said.
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.
“We know what you are capable of, you did it here while you were governor. We (the Hausa community) are the highest registered voters in Odoakpu Ward four here, and we voted for you, and we have no regret about that.
“We saw you during campaigns, visiting interior parts of the north, places that presidential candidates that are of northern extraction feared to go to. We are happy that you represented very well, and you vindicated us, through the messages we always sent back to our people that you were the best for the position” he said.