By Stanley Nwanosike
The Enugu State Muslim Community on Sunday called for closer partnership and more support for Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration toward contributing to the development of the state.
The Chief Imam of Enugu State, Sheik Zulqarnaini Saeed, made the call at the end of a Muslim faithful, stakeholders and Ulamas meeting held at the Islamic Centre, Uwani, Enugu.
Saeed said that the Muslim community would continue to support the peace initiative of the state government.
“The peace initiative by the governor has contributed in no small way to the peaceful co-existence of all religious believers in the state. It is evident even in Muslim settlements.
“We will continue to show love to Gov. Ugwuanyi by supporting all his developmental agenda and strive to continue as a community to pray for God’s protection, guidance and uplift of his life.
“The Muslims see the governor as a person with a large and kind heart, who reaches out to everyone irrespective of religion, ethnicity and even political affiliation.
“The community appreciates his support and gifts of love he extend to us during various Islamic festivities and other acts of kindness to us.
“However, we have an advice to give to the governor.
“We want to seek closer partnership with the governor so that what he gives to the Muslim faithful would get to all Muslim faithful at the same time without missing anyone.
“We want to have an audience with him and reveal an effective channel of communication, so that every Muslim faithful will be carried along in the programmes of the government.
“So, I will appreciate him if he would channel all he has for the Muslim community through the Imams and Ulamas in the state and not the few people he meets in Central Mosque, Owerri Road, Enugu.
“I sincerely believe if he does this, he will be helping the Muslim community and his government as well,” Saeed said.
The Chief Imam also urged the governor to always give prior notice of his visit to any mosque.
“We appeal to him to always notify us ahead of his visit, so that the Ulamas can mobilise Muslims in various council areas in the state to meet him.
“Then, he will know that we are so many and appreciate our numerical strength’’, he said.
Alhaji Musa Ani, Secretary-General of Enugu State Muslim Community, called on the government to ensure that the Islamic Centre in Uwani was the central rallying place for all Enugu State Muslim meetings and affairs.
“It would be appreciated if everything concerning government and the Muslim community should be done at the centre, which is the seat of the Muslim Ulamas in the state.
“We, however, thank Gov. Ugwuanyi for his good gestures, especially sponsorship of faithful to pilgrimage and giving us a sense of belonging in the state,’’ Ani said.
Hajiya Halima Ani, the Women Leader of Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), noted that most Muslims had been complaining of the governor’s largesse not getting to them.
The women leader appealed to the governor to revert to the use of the Islamic Centre at Uwani to reach out to the Muslim community in the state.