Do you remember him? Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, 87-year-old religious leader hid over 262 Christians in his mosque from attacks in Yelwa Gindi Akwati village, Plateau. He will be awarded as MON by
@MBuhari on Oct 11, four years after his heroic feat./Ibrahim Abdul Lateef
A statement from the US Department of State read that the cleric refused to give them up when their attackers asked about their whereabouts, International Religious Freedom Ambassador, Sam Brownback, said at the awards ceremony in Washington.
According to the US Department of State website: “Imam Abubakar Abdullahi selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention. On June 23, 2018, ethnic Fulani herdsmen, who are predominantly Muslim, launched coordinated attacks on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi, killing hundreds of ethnic Berom farmers, who are predominantly Christian.
“As Imam Abdullahi was finishing midday prayers, he and his congregation heard gunshots and went outside to see members of the town’s Christian community fleeing. Instinctively, the Imam ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and his home next to the mosque. The Imam then went outside to confront the gunmen and he refused to allow them to enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside, even offering to sacrifice his life for theirs. Although the gunmen killed 84 people in Nghar village that day, Imam Abdullahi’s actions saved the lives of hundreds more.
“Born in Bauchi State around 1936, the Imam has lived in Nghar for 60 years and led the Muslim community through the mosque, which was built on land provided by the Christian community. Imam Abdullahi’s courage in the face of imminent danger and his history of outreach across religious divides, demonstrates his lifelong commitment to promoting interfaith understanding and peace.”“Another awardee who could not make it tonight, but I just have to read this about him,” Brownback said during the event.
Back home in July last year, President Muhammadu Buhari also directed the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, to bring to him the Fulani Chief Imam of Akwatti Mosque in Barkin Ladi Local Council for a presidential handshake and a national award for saving the lives of over 200 natives during the attacks.Describing the incident as a rare feat, Buhari urged other Muslims and the locals to emulate the good gesture because saving the lives of several Christians by a Fulani Muslim “is not a joke”
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