US honours Islamic leader who hid many Christians from harm during Plateau killings

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The imam was honored alongside four others from Sudan, Brazil, Iraq and Cyprus  with the first-ever International Religious Freedom Award (IRFA).

Abubakar saved over over 200 people he saw running from an attack in Barkin Ladi local government area at a mosque in  his village in Nghar Yelwa, saving them from their attackers.

He admitted that he risked his life with that particular action.

The US Department of State said Abubakar was selected for the award after he, “selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention.”

The US secretary of state, Michael Pompeo who presented the award, said:

“their heroic efforts to build bridges & protect vulnerable religious minorities, often at their own personal risk, are an inspiration to us all.”

“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.”

Abubakar had earlier received the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) award in November 2018.

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