US honours Muslim cleric who saved Christians in Jos during religious crisis

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Muslim cleric Abubakar Abdullahi who risked his own life to save some Christians in Jos has been honoured with US International Religious Freedom Award.

The 83-year-old Imam hid over 200 Christians inside from suspected bandits in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, during June 2018 clashes.

He hid the Christian in his mosque and home.

Abdullahi according to the US Department of State website is being honoured after he, “selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention.”

Although Abdullahi could not make it to the main ceremony to honour him at the United State, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback during the ceremony said, “another awardee who could not make it tonight, but I just have to read this about him,” and reeled out his profile.

He was honoured alongside other recipients of the award from Cyprus, Sudan, Brazil, and Iraq.

The International Religious Freedom Awards (IRFA) is the US State Department’s first-ever organised to honor Religious freedom advocates.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also at the ceremony lauded the heroic efforts of the freedom advocates.

“I’m especially honored tonight to share the stage with the men and women who have demonstrated how much each one of us is capable of in advancing this noble shared cause. If the future of religious freedom rests on solid ground, it’s because of people who are sharing the stage with me tonight.

“To say that each of them is brave is a gross understatement. To say their work is tough does not go nearly far enough.”

Imam Abdullahi is the chief Imam of Nghar village mosque. He was born in Bauchi State in 1936 and has lived most years of his life in Nghar, leading the Muslim community through the mosque.

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