Former governor of Anambra State and Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi stated on Monday in Awka that he had no need to take a break after the 2023 presidential campaigns and the subsequent election, claiming that those who had to rest had good reason for doing so.
Speaking to reporters after joining the Muslim community in Awka Central Mosque to celebrate Eid-El Fitri, Obi said that given the nature of the country’s difficulties, it was inappropriate for its leaders to take a break because numerous problems needed constant attention.
He said: “People who want to rest can go and rest. Me, I am not resting because I have to be visiting schools and hospitals and be interacting with people.
“No serious leader will go and rest in Nigeria. We will continue to visit as many people as we can, and also support them in the best way we can.”
He informed the Muslim community that since the elections were over, politics had nothing to do with his visit.
He asserts that visiting people is important regardless of whether or not one is running for political office, stressing that Nigerians must continue to identify as a nation regardless of what individuals do in politics.
He added: “I am a Christian and you are Muslims, but we are all Nigerians. Politics can also not divide us. I have never seen any road that is built and is only for Muslims to drive on, or seen any market where only Christians buy bread cheaper than Muslims. If you know such a market, please tell me, let me go and buy.
“If you go to Dubai, the land on which one of the biggest churches is built was donated by the ruler of Dubai who is a Moslem. In England too, a mosque was donated by the Queen, who is the head of the Church of England.
“We are one and we are created by the same God. We should therefore not allow religion or politics to divide us. Nigeria will continue to be one irrespective of political affiliation.
“When I told people that I will start fighting poverty from the north, some people said that the North is not poorer than South and that since I’m from the South, I should start here. But the truth is that I know that the vast land which we would use to solve the problem of poverty in Nigeria is in the north.
“We’re committed to a better Nigeria. What our people want are the good things of life because all of us are suffering the problems of Nigeria.”
He expressed his gratitude for their cooperation in helping the Labour Party win the election in Anambra State.
He vowed to assist the community in reconstructing the Central mosque, which is receiving a facelift, and gave them cartons of noodles, bags of rice, and soft beverages.
Alhaji Musa Bello, the head of the Muslim community in Awka, who spoke on their behalf, recalled that he was one of the Muslims sponsored on a pilgrimage to Mecca during Obi’s time as the governor of Anambra State.
Bello said: “We know you more than most people because we lived with you here in Awka when you were governor. Many of us were allocated land during your tenure and we cannot because of politics deny what you did for us.
“Many of us are members of the Obidient Movement and we are optimistic that you will reclaim your mandate.”
Abdullahi Garba Haruna, a different community member, also stated during his testimony that he attended primary and secondary school in Awka while Obi was governor while receiving a scholarship from the state government.