President Muhammadu Buhari has invited Abdullahi Abubakar, the Islamic cleric, who saved some Christians from being killed by Fulani-herdsmen in Plateau state.
Simon Lalong, the state Governor, disclosed on Monday that Buhari has asked that the Islamic cleric be brought to Aso Rock for “a handshake and national honour.”
The governor said this in Jos during the opening ceremony of a three-day peace and security conference with the theme, “The resurgence of violence in Plateau State: Towards a multi-stakeholder partnership for peace and security.”
Lalong said, “The President has told me to bring to him Imam Abdullahi Abubakar for a handshake, which will be followed by a national honour”.
“I was also preparing what to do for this man. Although he is already in his old age, God knows why he did it at that age — for us to study and also know how to maintain peace, not only in Plateau State but also in Nigeria in general”.
“He did not only save the people of Barkin Ladi LGA, not only Plateau State, but I think the whole of this country because 300 lives is not a small number”.
“So, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, only God will reward you for what you have done”.
“We are waiting for that process of meeting the President for a handshake and national honour.”
The 83-year-old Imam reportedly hid 300 Christians in Nghar Village, Gashish District, in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area on June 24, when rampaging herdsmen invaded about 15 communities and killed scores of villagers.
They were said to be running for safety from a neighbouring village, when the imam allegedly hid them in his house and mosque.
“I hid the women in my personal house and after that, I took the men into the mosque and hid them there,” Abubakar had stated.
The assailants ordered the release of the villagers, but the cleric refused after which the attackers left without any further demand.