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83 year old Imam Abubakar Abdullahi with four other nationals from Sudan, Brazil, Iraq and Cyprus would receive the first ever international Religious Freedom award of the United States Government.

Imam Abubakar Abdullahi from Nghar village hid 262 Berom Christians in his mosque and his house close to the mosque in June 2018 when herdsmen launched a bloody attack on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi area of Plateau State.

He stood in defense of human life, promotion of religious liberty and advancing the cause of peace around the world. he is a shinning symbol of hope for a better future where Muslims and Christians will see themselves as first, Human beings, as brother and sister created by the one God.

He selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community who would have been killed without his intervention.

On 23rd of June 2018, ethnic fulani herdsmen predominantly Muslims launched coordinated attacks on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi killing hundreds of ethnic Berom farmers who are predominantly Christians.

Imam Abubakar was finishing midday prayers when he heard gunshots and saw members of the town’s Christian community fleeing. Instinctively, ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and his house next to the mosque. He then went outside to confront the gunmen, refused to let them enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside even offering to sacrifice his life for theirs.

Although the gunmen killed 84 people in the village, his actions saved hundreds more.

He was born around 1936 in Bauchi but lived in Nghar for 60 years. he led Muslim community through the mosque provided by the Christian community.

Imam’s courage in the face of imminent danger and his history of outreach across religious divide demonstrates his life long commitment to promote interfaith understanding and peace.


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