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Plateau crisis: Community celebrates honoured Imam who saved 262 Christians in Mosque

Residents of Ngar community of Barikin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State are celebrating the Islamic cleric, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives…

Residents of Ngar community of Barikin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State are celebrating the Islamic cleric, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives of over 260 Christians in the area.

Imam Abdullahi had on June 23rd 2018 shielded over 262 Christians in his Mosque and house when gunmen attacked the Ngar community and its environs.

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Our correspondent who visited the community on Sunday reports that members of the community were delighted when the Imam made the list of the 447 recipients of the national honour 2022, conferred on them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Imam has been receiving national and international awards since 2018 when he risked his life to save the lives of his Christian neighbours for his selfless service to humanity.

Da Mafulul Mangai, Ward Head of the village, who was amongst those shielded in the Mosque, said “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever done what the Imam did. This is the man who does not allow sentiment in whatever he does. I was inside, the attackers came to the Mosque and he didn’t allow them to enter. He should be emulated.”

Another survivor of the attack, Pastor Joseph Audu, who was also saved in the mosque, while speaking on the national honour conferred on him, said “The action of Baba towards us during the attack is highly commendable and should be celebrated by all and sundry.”

Earlier, the celebrant, while speaking on why he protected the Christians, said he saw no reason why innocent human beings should be killed for nothing.

“My reason for shielding the Christians is this. God has created human beings, animals, vegetation and other living things in the rivers, all for different purposes. So, why will you kill your fellow human being? What has your fellow human done to deserve killing? I cannot live while watching that scene. That was why I stood up to them. I told the attackers that if they wanted to kill them, they should kill me first,” he said.

On what the honour conferred on him by the president meant to him, the Islamic cleric said “This national honour conferred on me means everything to me. My joy for the honour is limitless. I can equate the joy to anything. Anything that can be imagined, can be ended. But can’t be imagined. Only God knows how I feel. I pray for the president to live a healthy life.”

More than 80 people who were not able to reach the Mosque and the house of the Imam killed during the attack were given mass burial.

However, with all the horrific moments witnessed by the affected communities, residents say all the promises made to them after the incident by the government were yet to be fulfilled, adding that they still lack good roads and healthcare centres among other social amenities in the area.

 

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