Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, an 86-year old Islamic Cleric In Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau, who risked his life to hide 262 Christians in a mosque during a clash in Yelwa Gindi Village would be receiving a National Honor this week.
The Awards will be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 11, 2022 at the State House Abuja.
The list has 437 nominees for the National Honours Awards 2022 which cut across different facets of life in the country as well as some foreigners who will be awarded.
In 2019, the International Religious Freedom Award rewarded him along with four religious leaders from Sudan, Iraq, Brazil and Cyprus.
The award is given to advocates of religious freedom.
On June 23, 2018, Christians were fleeing attacks from Muslim herdsmen who had launched coordinated attacks on Christian farmers in 10 villages in the Barkin Ladi area of Plateau State and he protected them at the risk of his life.
The imam gave refuge to his Christian neighbors, sheltering 262 Christians in his mosque and his home and then stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim attackers.
He pleaded with them to spare the lives of the Christians inside, even offering to exchange his own life for theirs.
More than 80 people were killed in the attacks by suspected herders who also set fire on many homes in the villages.
Here are some interesting facts about Imam Abdullahi:
1. He was born in Bauchi State around 1936.
2. He has lived in Nghar for about 60 years and is the leader of the Muslim community in a mosque that was built on land provided by the Christian community.
3. He is an Hausa and the Chief Imam of a mosque in Yelwan Gindi Akwati village, in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
4. Imam Abdullahi alongside his assistant Umar Abdullahi, who is Fulani, saved the lives of over 200 persons when suspected bandits attacked communities in the LGA.
5. On the day of the incident, Imam Abdullahi was said to have just finished 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 of them into the mosque and into his personal home next door.
Abubakar Abdullahi hid 262 Berom Christians in his mosque and in his house, when the herdsmen launched a bloody attack on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State.
6. According to reports, the mosque is now the home and refuge of those hidden by the Imam.
7. Many of those the Muslim Cleric provided shelter for were from the Berom ethnic group which are predominantly Christians