Imam saves 300 Christians from Fulani militia massacre in Plateau
Abdullahi Abubakar, 83, an Imam, who hid about 300 Christians in a mosque in Nghar village, Gashish district in Barkin Ladi Local Council in Plateau State, central Nigeria, when Islamic Fulani Herdsmen attacked villages on the 23 and 24 April, killing over 200 Christians will be given a national honour by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Plateau State governor made this declaration in Jos on Monday, 30 May saying “It was only God who knows why he (Imam) did it at that age, it is now for us to study what he did and to also see how we would do to maintain peace.”
The United Staes Charge de affaires, David Young, paying complements to the Imam in Jos said “Let what the Imam did to be a challenge for us, let us risk our lives for the peace. The killing of innocent people is simply not acceptable, whether in Plateau, Zamfara, Benue or Borno or Taraba, we as a people of faith should submit ourselves to God.”
Witnesses said on the fateful day of the attack, a woman in the village was called by her Muslim friend who warned her that an attack was eminent by a Fulani jihadi groups. The woman pleaded anonymity told Global Christian News that “she said the Fulani were coming to attack and said we must hide in the mosque because even if we ran, we wouldn’t get far.”
“I hid some first in my house and then moved them into the Mosque,” Abdullahi told newsmen.
Abdullahi Abubakar must be commended for this act.
“The entire episode however leaves many questions unanswered. but equally confirmed and proves that the attacks have specifically been planned to eliminate Christians and wipe out their communities,” one of the pastors in Barkin Ladi said. “It makes it even more ridiculous to call this a farmers and cattle herders clash.”
“Don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to downplay or remove the shine on what Abdullahi did, we must thank him for taking the risk he took to save the lives of these Christians. May God bless him. I am simply pointing out that this whole killings is an indictment on the security forces and a disgrace to the government and security agencies who have refused to protect people even when they get reports that there will be an attack, the people are not protected. Abdullahi should be honoured but the question for me is will anyone be punished for the deaths of these people? Do we have any justice in this nation? ” The pastor said.
Almost a month after the attack that has killed about 250 people, almost 10,000 people are still displaced and can not go back to their homes as the villages are still unsafe and the Fulani herdsmen still prowl the villages in Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos areas.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.
Image credits/Lalong and Abdullahi by Kaki Habila/women www.hopefornigeriaonline.comboko-haram-attack-church-kills-8-bornomourning