Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State will today (Wednesday) be travelling with 83-year-old Imam of Nghar Village, Gashish District in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, The PUNCH has learnt.
The cleric was said to have saved about 300 persons in June when suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded about 15 communities in Barkin Ladi LGA, killing over 200 persons.
The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Yakubu Dati, said the governor had honoured the Islamic cleric, who saved the lives of about 300 people who ran to his home when killer herdsmen invaded their communities.
He said, “Governor Lalong is taking him for a Presidential handshake with President Muhammadu Buhari with a recommendation for National honours” but did not give further details.
However, a source in the Plateau State Government House said, “The Imam, Abubakar Abdullahi, will be travelling with His Excellency by a 9:00am flight on Wednesday to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to meet Buhari for a handshake and a national honour.”
The PUNCH reported that Imam Abdullahi’s gesture was revealed during 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”, organised by the Plateau State Peace Building Agency in collaboration with the United States Institute for Peace, Justice and Security and financed by the US Embassy in Nigeria.
At the event, the Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge de Affaires, US Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, extolled his virtues, describing the action as heroic.
He said, “Those who work for peace do not belong to one group or another, they are not just Muslims or Christians, they are individuals who give up their lives for goodness and fight evil.
“This man is a challenge to all of us; think about what you do every day. Do you take risks for peace? Would you put your life on the line to protect people from other communities? Think about what that means to us, to your country and to our world.”