How Buhari reacted to US award given to Nigerian Imam for saving 300 Christian lives


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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed delight over the International Religious Freedom Award conferred on Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Nigeria by the U.S. Department of State.

A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, said Buhari felicitated with Imam Abdullahi on the well-deserved honour by no less a credible and formidable government agency of the United States.

According to him, the recognition bestowed on the 83-year old Muslim cleric is towering and befitting for the patriot who risked his own life and that of his family on June 23, 2018, to save the lives of hundreds of Christians.

The affected persons were fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwan Gindin Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau.

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The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had on May 30, 2019, at the State House, Abuja, received the Imam, the Village Head, Damafulul Mangai; community leaders and a delegation from the U.S., UK and European Union.

Osinbajo said the cleric “has done so much to promote peace by his singular act than most politicians could do and deserve all the commendation and high honour’’.

An elated Buhari said that “a Nigerian national has written his name in gold in the international arena and his deeds will resonate wherever and whenever there are discussions on religious tolerance, cordiality between Christians and Muslims in the country and around the world’’.

The president recommended the sterling virtues of Imam Abdullahi to all clerics, in particular, and Nigerians in general.

He also affirmed the commitment of his administration to freedom of religion and worship for all Nigerians, as guaranteed by the constitution.

Buhari stressed that under no circumstance would any religion or faith be imposed on the nation.

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