Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the 83-year-old Muslim Cleric, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives of hundreds of persons fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits in Yelwan Gindi Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau as a hero.
The people were fleeing from attacks by suspected bandits.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the vice president gave the commendation when he received the cleric at the Presidential Villa.
The vice president received Abubakar; the Village Head, Damafulul Mangai, and other community leaders and a delegation which included diplomats from the US, UK and the European Union.
Abubakar, who is Hausa and the Chief Imam of a mosque in Yelwan Gindi Akwati village, in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, alongside his assistant Umar Abdullahi, who is Fulani, saved the lives of over 200 persons when suspected bandits attacked communities in the LGA.
The reported attack took place on June 23, 2018, on Yelwan Gindi Akwati, Swei and Nghar villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, where scores of persons were killed by suspected bandits.
Abubakar reportedly hid and rescued over 200 persons who fled from nearby communities, inside the mosque and in his personal house, until the attackers left.
Many of those the Muslim Cleric provided shelter for were from the Berom ethnic group which are predominantly Christians.
Reports indicated that Abubakar, on defending “my guests”, insisted that the attackers would have to kill him if they refused his pleas not to attack those he was hiding.
At a point, the Imam was said to be on his knees and then rolling o the floor to appease the attackers.
Describing Abubakar’s act as heroic, the Vice President said that the Imam had done so much more to promote peace by his singular acts than most politicians could do and so deserves all the commendation and high honour.
Osinbajo urged politicians to avoid using religion and tribal sentiment to create division among people, noting that Abubakar had demonstrated to leaders that the way to resolve whatever conflict was not by violence, but a demonstration of love.
“I commend you for your wonderful act.
“Imam Abubakar has demonstrated one of the most courageous acts any man can possibly do, by offering his own life, for those who are not people of his own tribe.
“I have heard a lot of stories in our country, but this is one of the most compelling stories.
“The love an individual can show for others not from their own tribe or religion, especially in a society like ours where tribe and religion often come to play.”
The Vice President urged all Nigerians despite tribe and religion to eschew bitterness and embrace peace and harmonious living.
“It is far easier for people to create religious tensions between Christians or Muslims through their acts or words.
“And in a community where people have lived together in harmony and peace for so long, it shows how much a little of such tension created, in a matter of hours, can destroy harmony and peace built over the years.”
Before the attacks, the community had reportedly lived in peace.
Osinbajo said that most people in Nigeria did not see the differences in tribe or religion, but it was easy to stoke religious tensions and divisions.
According to him, one must be careful of those who want to play politics and create differences using religion and tribe as no tribe or religion is superior to another.
“When people have been wronged, it is always easier for people to accept that revenge or vengeance is the right approach.
“But as you know, vengeance breeds bitterness and hatred and doesn’t solve the problems created, but causes more deaths and harm.”
The Vice President said it was wrong for anyone to kill in the name of religion, noting that Abubakar’s incredible act of courage in saving others passed a message to both Christians, Muslims and others of different tribes and religion.
He said that Abubakar sent a message to Muslims and Christians alike and other ethnic groups that their own lives were as valuable as his own life.
“This is a very powerful message. Also, by keeping them safe in a mosque, a sacred place; he sent a strong message to Muslims that other religions and lives are equally as important to God.
“The Imam did not preach this by word but by deeds, love, by putting his life on the line to make a point. That clearly demonstrates to all of us that it is un-islamic to maim or kill people in the name of religion.
“Like President Muhammadu Buhari said, anyone who says “Allah Akbar”, and then goes to kill someone either does not know his faith or is insane. It is the same in the Christian faith.
” The gospel of Jesus Christ says we must first love, even our enemies and those that despitefully use us. And anyone who preaches something different is certainly not speaking from the Bible or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“President Buhari also said during his meeting with the Catholic Bishops that all through his life as a public servant, he believes that people should be judged by their character and how they behave, and that everyone must have a right to worship God the way they chose.”
The Vice President further said the Federal Government would look at further ways to improve the communities in Barkin Ladi, and others affected by ethnic/religious crisis.
“We will look at how the Plateau State government and the Federal Government can help in the rehabilitation process.
“Government has been doing this in phases, to restore areas devastated by crisis. But we would look at ways to help further,” he said.
Abubakar, as well as his deputy, Abdullahi, were recently honoured by the US Embassy in Nigeria, for the heroic deeds.
Osinbajo said that Abubakar should be celebrated everywhere in the world,, adding that he was happy that the US Ambassador had honoured him with an award.
In his remarks, Abubakar, who spoke through an interpreter, thanked the Vice President, noting that he did not want it publicised.
He said however, that he felt that God chose him to do what he did to be used as an example.
The Imam said he told the attackers at some point that they had to kill him first before harming his ‘guests’–that statement dissuaded them.
“I pleaded with the attackers in the mud and rain not to harm my guests.
“By God’s grace, no one was hurt. God created mankind differently but he wants us to live together in peace and harmony, and not harm each other. Such incident (the attack) is rare in my community, but I hope such does not happen in my village again,” he said.
The visit of the delegation at the instance of the U.S. deputy Chief of Mission, comprised of the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington; Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, David Young.
Others are the U.S. Embassy official, Kathleen Fitzgibbon; and the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck.
I was shocked when my name was missing on Buhari’s ministerial list- Adebayo Shittu
Adebayo Shittu, the immediate-past Minister of Communication, says he was shocked when he found out his name wasn’t on the Ministerial list for the 2nd term of President Buhari.
Shittu who was the Minister of Communication in President Buhari’s first tenure, said he felt bad about his exclusion but he has since taken it in good fate. President Buhari reappointed 14 former ministers and 29 new ones which included seven females, Shittu was part of 18 ex-ministers who did not make the list.
Speaking in an interview, Shittu said
“Of course, I expected that I will be reappointed (as minister) but when it didn’t happen, as a Muslim, it didn’t take me five minutes before I accepted that what has come, it’s the will of God. And I have also found comfort in a Quranic verse when God promised that what is to come later is better than what is with you now. So for me, it says we must accept that there is always something better with God which he gives to his beloved.
“I see myself as a beloved of God. I have come a long way and I have served at the state and national levels and the experience that I have garnered over the last three and half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market”.
He was the youngest lawmaker at the age of 26 to be elected a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1979.
Arrest of 77 Nigerians for online fraud, a big scar on all of us- Presidency
The Federal government has said that the recent arrest of 77 Nigerians by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for online fraud, is a big scar on all Nigerians.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, said this when he appeared on Channels TV on Sunday night, August 25. Shehu disclosed that the Federal government would issue executive orders and engage the National Assembly to pass new laws to put a stop to online fraud involving Nigerians.
“This is a double damage on every citizen of Nigeria. It is a big scar on all of us who go out of this country and are seen in this image that these our brothers have created and the whole nation is tainted.
For the government of President Buhari, what it means is that the government which has started its second term on the strong promises of reinvigorating the war against criminality including scams and corruption, the government is serious engaging in revamping all of the laws and infrastructure for fighting this sought of crime.
The government will generate and ask for new laws from the National Assembly and there will be new executive orders that will block some of the loopholes that are being exploited by some of these Nigerians who go out there and blackmail the country. The laws have got to change. These scams have to be tackled”he said
He stressed that this particular incident should not be used to tag all Nigerians as criminals.
The actions of a few Nigerians is not the action of the whole of Nigerians. We are 200 million in this country and you are talking of just about 80 in this case. They will face the justice system in the US. If the Nigerian government is required for extradition or any other way, if it meets the requirements of our laws, they will be assisted to prosecute them and to face justice in the US” he said
EFCC traces Atiku’s ‘laundered’ money to Obasanjo Presidential Library in Ogun State
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have reportedly visited the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as part of the probe of ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s son-in-law and the 150 million euros cash-for-poll bribe scandal.
It was gathered that investigators went to the Library on August 8th to authenticate the claims by one of those under probe that he gave $140,000 (about N50 million) to one of the library officials.
According to reports, the EFCC officials, accompanied by policemen, combed some offices at the former President’s Library. It could not be confirmed whether any document was taken away by the operatives, but nobody was arrested.
“Our operatives went to the library with some riot policemen in anticipation of a possible resistance. But there was none.We did our job lawfully without any inhibition. We are still investigating the case. We are screening some documents in our possession on the matter, ” an EFCC investigator told The Nation.
The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library was opened on March 4, 2017. It is a historic, tourist and academic centre established as a national archive for the preservation of documents and materials used by the President during his tenure between 1999 and 2007.
Atiku’s son-in-law Abdullahi Babalele is being investigated alongside others for allegedly laundering €150 million. The money was believed to have been spent to influence the 2019 election in which Atiku was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate. About €67, 950,000 was traced to ex-VP Atiku’s associate Uyi Giwa-Osagie’s account, Babalele’s account, two slush firms and two Bureau de Change operators.
Babalele is expected to account for 41,900,000 euros. According to reports, Babalele gave about N50million ($140,000) to his childhood friend, Bashir Mohammed to deliver to an official at the Presidential Library in Abeokuta. The anti-graft agency is investigating why the money was taken to the Presidential Library.
Bashir has reportedly admitted that he delivered the cash to the Presidential Library. It was learnt that Bashir was taken by detectives to the Presidential Library. Those interrogated including Babalele, Osagie and Mohammed, are on administrative bail pending the filing of a case against them.”
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