By Isaac Aregbesola
Abuja, May 31, 2019
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has honoured Chief Imam of Nghar Village, Abdullahi Abubakar who protected 200 villagers during attacks on Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau in June 2018.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington awarded the Chief Imam with Ambassador’s Peacemaker Award for Heroism at an interfaith dialogue organised by the embassy on Friday in Abuja.
Symington urged the world to emulate Abubakar’s act of brotherliness which he described as a virtue of kindness to promote global peace.
The ambassador also advised mankind to love each other and let the idea of one family take the center stage.
“Abubakar’s act of brotherliness raised hope of a cohesive society in the face of growing mistrust.
“Today, there is only one word that matters and that is perhaps, love. Or perhaps, one more word, family.
“With the lesson of this Imam, Chief Imam, this Village Head, this Deputy Imam, and all of those who brought you this story, is a lesson not just for Nigeria, but for all mankind – one family, one race, one love,” Symington stated.
He said that coming together to invest in each other was one of the best ways to end recurrent violence in the country.
“It (violence) will end when all come together and invest in each other and when individuals find the path forward, for not just for their own daughters and sons, but for the daughters and sons of every Nigerian,” he said.
Abubakar said God, who created mankind, had a reason for creating mankind in different forms and brought mankind together and gave a command to mankind not to harm each other.
“God has created us as diverse people. Some black, some white, some tall, some short. God has a reason. He is the only One who knows why he created us that way.
“It is unfortunate what happened in my community which led to the demise of some in the community and by Allah’s grace, some have survived to tell the story,” Imam Abubakar said.
June 23rd, 2018 remained indelible in the minds of indigenes of Nghar Community and the whole of Barkin Ladin Local Government when over 400 hoodlums on motorcycles and armed with sophisticated weapons invaded the area.
They went from community to community on a killing spree and the gruesome attack left 84 people dead.
However, the swift action taken by the chief imam of the community who hid some Christians helped in reducing the number of causalities.