Celebrity Gist

A Nigerian pastor has shocked his immediate
community members by donating N1 million to a
mosque.
A Senior Pastor with the Peniel Church of God in Calabar, Essien
Ayi, has donated one million Naira to help the Muslim community
in the Cross River State capital complete its central mosque.
According to a report by The Nation newspaper, Tuesday, Mr Ayi
who is also a lawmaker, said Nigerians should be their brothers’
keepers, irrespective of religion.
Mr Ayi, who represents Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar-South Federal
Constituency in the House of Representatives, made the cash
donation at Gbogobiri, an Hausa settlement in Calabar.
He said the gesture was also to appreciate the support he has
enjoyed from them.
“Every human being whether Christian or Muslim believes in God,
the creator. The religion may be different. The mode of practicing
may be different, but it is tilted towards one being, which is God,”
he said at the event.
“Also the Muslim society has been very supportive of me right
from when I was chairman and they informed me that their former
mosque had been demolished and they are trying to erect a new
and befitting mosque. I feel as a representative, they too are my
constituents.
”I am bound to make a token donation towards the completion of
that mosque. We should be be our brothers’ keepers. We are all
Nigerians irrespective of our religion,” he added.
The head of the Hausa community, Sarki Lawan, who spoke
through the Secretary of the Mosque Committee, Hashimu
Abubakar, expressed gratitude for the donation, which he said
would go a long way in the completion of the project.

“We are very happy. We appreciate his concern about coming here
to give us his donation. This is the first time it has ever
happened. He donated N1 million and we assure him the money
would be put to use. The name of the mosque is Central Mosque
and Islamic Centre in Calabar.
“Work started about four months ago and the money would help
us a great deal. Our message to other politicians is to emulate
what he has done so that the people they are representing would
feel their impact,” he said.
Mr Ayi also made donations to two orphanages at Uwanse and
Bateba Streets, as well as the Pope John Paul Home for the aged
and needy along Target Street.
He said it has been his tradition over the years to the less-
privileged in the society and encourage harmonious coexistence.
“Whenever God bless you, use part of that blessing to bless
others. I came from a disadvantaged home and by the grace of
God he has lifted me to this height. I always have a feeling for the
less privileged in the society,” he said.
He called for harmonious inter-religious relations.
“That is all we preach about. We call for a harmonious living
environment because if you don’t have a peaceful atmosphere,
you cannot even practice your religion. Let us come together. We
should not start fighting ourselves and make the environment
unconducive for us to stay.
” If we are in peace everyone can practice their own religion. That
is what we believe. Peaceful coexistence is what we need,” he
said.

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