Imam Abdullahi Abubakar

Imam Abdullahi Abubakar

US honours Nigerian imam who hid 262 Christians from Killer herdsmen

Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, a Nigerian imam, who saved 262 Christians from killer herdsmen by hiding them in his mosque and home, has been honoured by the United States government.

Abdullahi, 83, has been recognized at home by various groups for standing out. He received the International Religious Freedom Award alongside four others from Cyprus, Sudan, Brazil and Iraq.

The imam had saved the Christians in Barkin Ladi area of Plateau state in central Nigeria who were running away from the killers.

More than 80 others were killed in the attack that targeted Christians in the area, and the number could have been more without the intervention of the imam.

The imam had told the BBC that he wanted to help because more than 40 years ago the Christians in the area had allowed the Muslims to build the mosque.

At the event that had US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo present, Imam Abdullahi was said to have “selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention.”

The imam had previously received a “handshake and national honour” from Nigerian President Muhamadu Buhari.

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the persons fleeing attacks in Yelwan Gindi Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau as a hero.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the vice president gave the commendation when he received the cleric at the Presidential Villa.

The vice president received Abubakar; the Village Head, Damafulul Mangai, and other community leaders and a delegation which included diplomats from the US, UK and the European Union.

 

 

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