The Plateau State Imam, Abubakar Abdullahi, who shielded Christians from attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen, has explain how he and others fed the over 300 Christians for five days.
The Imam was said to have saved about 300 Christians on June 24 when suspected herdsmen invaded 15 communities in Barkin Ladi LGA, killing over 150 people.
We reported that President Muhammadu Buhari invited the 83-year-old Imam of Nghar village, Gashish district in Barkin Ladi local government, to the Presidential Villa for “a handshake and national honour.
Speaking with Daily Trust, the cleric also explained how some of his people who were inside the mosque took the risk of locking the doors and using themselves as shields to protect the Christians.
He revealed that everyone converged in his house, including all the Muslims in the community, and the community leaders and contributed food to feed the crisis victims.
Abdullahi explained, “On that Saturday, we had said our Asr prayer, and we were still in the mosque when we heard what sounded like gunshots from Gindin Akwati, and a few minutes later, we heard the gunshots coming close to Soi, a village just before the bridge.
“Suddenly, the gunshot sounds were all around us. We were still in the mosque, as we saw people running. We directed them into the mosque.
“We went round, my assistant and I, as well as another man called Gambo. Most of the women were shepherded into the women’s wing of the mosque, while a good number of them went to my house.
“The gunmen, dressed in black, and masked, suddenly showed up. They were heading towards my house, so I ran there and blocked them. In the process, I fell down.
“They changed course, heading to the mosque and I ran there too and blocked them. Some of our people who were inside the mosque had locked the doors and used themselves as shields from inside.
“God willed it, and they noticed how dogged we were, so they left.
“It was cramped. There was no space to lie down, so we all found little spaces available to sit. And if you can lean on the wall, that is good.
“That was how we slept for those five days. Only little children had space to lie down. I leaned by the main door. It was like that for all of us for those five days.
“We all converged in [my] house, including all the Muslims in the community, and the community leaders. So, we all contributed food.
“But apart from that, I usually store produce because I am a farmer. When I was strong, I used to feed a lot of people and we used to exhaust over 60 bags of grains in a year.”