Godwin Obaseki
A top chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and human rights activist, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah has revealed that the APC gubernatorial candidate in the September 10 election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki would be a Muslim-friendly governor if elected into office. 

Isah, a fiery journalist and astute politician who is now serving as the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) enjoins all Muslims to cast their votes for the Godwin Obaseki/Phillip Shuaibu joint ticket on the platform of APC.

The Edo state born politician however debunked the ongoing widespread insinuations that Mr. Obaseki’s regime will Islamise the state, describing those behind such wicked and baseless allegation as fantastically failing politicians who would introduce any weapon, including such imperious blackmail in order to win elections.

He equally advised the All Peoples Congress (APC) to involve Muslims in the state at top level as it the campaign enters its critical stage of the door-to-door unit campaign if his desire is to easily triumph over his opponents at the poll.

Isah recalled that previous administrations in the state have not adequately carried Edo state Muslims along in the scheme of things, especially in the allocation of the dividends of democracy, especially appointments at federal and state levels. 

Also an actor and immediate past (erstwhile) National Vice President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (North West zone), Isah popularly known as Hotman believes for the sake of balancing a Muslim should be appointed as Chief of Staff to the next government since we have a Christian governor, deputy governor, Speaker of the House of Assembly, SSG and HoS.

According to him, the fact that the APC candidate want to ensure an equitable leadership which will benefit the Muslim Ummah should not and must not be interpreted to mean Islamising Edo state, where Christians dominate the population. 

“It is baseless and wicked blackmail for anyone to think or come up with such spurious allegation as to anyone for that matter attempting to Islamising Edo state where Christians have controlled and still control the population. Besides, Nigeria is secular state and the constitution allows for multiple religions. 

The Nigerian constitution guarantees right to religion and right to association as well as right to expression and agitation and as such Muslims in Edo state will continue to clamour for even distribution of our commonwealth. Anything short of this is unacceptable. 

“So, those who have decided to introduce this new dimension of dangerous politicking, this politics of propaganda into Edo state, taking their stupid and unscrupulous directionless campaign to this level are only bereft of ideas and having seen the handwriting of defeat staring at them on the wall, simply chose this path of blackmail. The idea is simply to weep up Christian sentiments against Obaseki because the Muslims have chosen to vote enmass for the APC ticket. 

“Personally, I have been campaigning and mobilising the Hausa/Fulani, Nupe, Igala and Ebira Muslim voters for Godwin Obaseki/Phillip Shuaibu ticket. First and foremost, due to the fact that it is the surest ticket for progress and development of the state, then for me because Muslims stand to gain a lot from the unique leadership they will introduce. 

“I believe Obaseki will make the right adjustment by giving Islamic faithfuls a sense of belonging by righting the wrongs in the past. It will not be asking for too much as equal stakeholders in the process of fostering a statehood, making Edo state stand its own in the comity of states in the country.”

Come to think of it! Is it not crazy for anyone to believe a Christian/Christian ticket would turn around to introduce Shariah or Islamise the state? Whose agenda would they be serving? And what would they want to achieve by doing that? I beg e, the blackmailers should be more ingenious in their dirty game. 

Isah went on to opined that a situation where the Christians adopt a Winner-takes-All in the past when appointments are being made into the state executive council and boards of parastatals and institutions at both the state as well as the state representatives at the federal levels should be discarded.

“In Obaseki, we would have a Muslim-friendly governor, no doubt. But Islamising the state under whatever guise, count him or the APC out it. Currently, some of his best friends and associates are Muslims, including the current richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote. They were together at the stock market (Nigeria Stock Exchange). These are part of the reason his leadership will favour Muslims. So, I implore all Islamic adherents to vote the Obaseki/Shuaibu ticket come Saturday. 

“The five pillars of Islam are the Shahada (Faith), Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Charity), Saum (Fasting) and Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca). These are the five tenets on which Islam is built. But if because he observes some of the Islamic dictates, they say he is a Muslim who wants to introduce Islamisation to the state, so be it. 

But the electorate should be forewarned before they are hoodwinked, because when some politicians of certain hue are bereft of ideas, to them anything goes”, the ex-chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), North West zone cautioned.

“So, to me Obaseki is a ‘Muslim’ because he adheres religiously to a part of Islamic dictates such as Zakat (Charity) and Saum (Fasting). Obviously, he observes Salat (Prayers) as well in his own ways. Therefore, he might not be a practising Muslim since he does not observe or complete the five pillars of the religion viz; five daily prayers, he has not observed the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, but he performs zakat, which is caring for the needy, as encouraged by the holy books.

I believe, and indeed sure that Obaseki at the helms of affairs in Edo state would be the best thing to happen to the followers of the Islamic religion, in terms of empowering the Muslim youths and women....

He will also guarantee a more conducive environment for Islam to thrive, allowing adherents free practice of their faith as enshrined in the nation’s constitution. 

Obaseki might not be a practicing Muslim; he however adheres to the Islamic principles of faith in his relationship with the Muslim Ummah especially in Nigeria and specifically in Edo state. He believes in the tenets of Islamic and so deserves the votes of Muslims in the September 10 election so he can take the state to the next level from which the Muslim Ummah would benefit greatly. 

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