Why I safeguarded Christians during Plateau attack - Imam

Why I safeguarded Christians during Plateau attack - Imam

- The imam who saved scores of Christians during an attack in Plateau state, Abdullahi Abubakar, said he acted that way because the victims are his neigbours

- He added that they have all been living in peace

- Going further, Abubakar added that residents of the community are intermarrying as well

Following an act of kindness which saw him help save scores of Christians from being killed during the recent killings in Plateau state, an imam, Abdullahi Abubakar, has given reasons why he acted that way.

Premium Times reports that while responding to a question asked by the deputy chief of mission, United States Embassy, Abuja, David Young, the octogenarian narrated how the incident which led to him shielding the Christians occurred.

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He said: "At about 3.30 p.m., shortly after the mid-afternoon prayer, worshippers were still in the mosque when we started hearing gunshots from Gindin Akwati area, some distance from our village.

"The intensity of the attack increased as we heard more gunshots from Soi, a community that is closer to our village. Soon, there was pandemonium everywhere in our villages as people ran from invading attackers.

"Since the mosque was open, I beckoned everyone fleeing, both Muslims and Christians, to come in there for protection. My deputy and I took charge in directing people into the mosque and my home for shelter. We asked everyone to lie down on the floor of the mosque to avoid being hit by flying bullets.

"We also locked the mosque and my home and stayed guard outside to ward off the attackers. We pleaded with them to spare the lives of those being sheltered in the mosque and my home.

"It was a tense moment. But I did not give up or allow them to harm my guests as they scattered in different directions trying to gain access to the mosque and my home. I tried to make calls but the phone lines were dead. I couldn’t get through to anyone."

Going further, Abubakar disclosed that he ensured the safety of the people because he was at peace with the people. He also added that he was traumatised after incident.

"The main reason I did what I did was because I had been living in peace and harmony with these people as neighbours. We had never had any problems with one another.

"We had lived in peace until suddenly these attackers came to destroy the village and kill people. I won’t let that happen, so I asked the people fleeing from the attackers to take shelter in the mosque and in my home.

"When this happened, I was really traumatised. I was severely traumatised. I could not sleep for almost a week. But because of my strong faith and trust in God, I have been able to endure the shock and stress. The pressure is easing and I am beginning to calm down."

"We have peaceful relations with Christians in my village. Let me even tell you that we have intermarriage relationships between us as well. I even have grandchildren whose parents were non-Muslims but who later converted to Islam.

"We interact and do things together. I even forgot to tell you, the non-Muslim natives gave us the land on which the mosque is built because of the trust and understanding between us," he added.

Legit.ng had reported that Abubakar Abdullahi, the Muslim cleric who hid over 300 people, mostly Christians, inside a mosque during the recent Plateau attack, says six of his children are adherents of the Christian faith.

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Suspected herdsmen had attacked villages across three local government areas of the state, killing at least 100 persons.

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Source: Legit

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