Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Friday, raised N400 million for a mosque to be built inside the complex of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
The fundraising ceremony, and the foundation laying ceremony of the mosque, was held at the Presidential Library in Abeokuta where the mosque is to be located.
The mosque is to be known as Baytus-Salam Central Mosque. The organisers had planned raising N350 million from donors, but ended up realising over N400 million.
The Presidential Library complex already has an existing church, founded by Mr. Obasanjo, where the former President preaches at times.
The governors of Sokoto, Kano, Kebbi, Kastina and Ogun States were in attendance at the ceremony as well as several captains of industries.
The money raised was the contribution of the various attendees and donors to the mosque project.
In his remarks, the chief promoter of the mosque project, Mr. Obasanjo, said that the idea was to put down a legacy for posterity and reflects the mosaic of the community in terms of Christianity and Islam.
“I believe that the more you know about your God, the better you will be able to serve Him. If you are religious, you will be a good citizen because religion behooves us to be better citizens,” the former president said.
Mr. Obasanjo indicated that, among others, the mosque would have facilities such as the Imam’s residence, and an Islamic school.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, while speaking, said that it is possible for Nigerians to co-exist peacefully regardless of their religious differences.
Mr. Amosun urged Nigerians to always highlight issues that unite and play those that separate them. He praised the former President for the idea of having a mosque within the premises of his library.
“This is a clear demonstration that we can co-exist regardless of our religion. Baba is a Christian but he has shown we should not have issues about religion and where we came from,” Mr. Amosun remarked.
In his keynote address, the Chief Imam of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Kamaldeen Balogun, commended Mr. Obasanjo for his dedication to the service of God, noting that the mosque is a veritable centre of learning that is capable of impacting basic Islamic knowledge on the young and help them develop in a concerted and forward looking manner to become the future generation Islamic leaders and scholars.
“It is my abiding hope that the formal opening of the foundation of Baytus-Salam Mosque would strengthen our efforts in peace building and reconciliation between the Muslim Ummah and followers of other faiths,” Mr. Balogun said.