From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos
Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau, Ezekiel Mandyau, has said that only tolerance and peaceful coexistence could guarantee growth and development.
The Chairman made the statement on Monday during his 2-Day Meet-the-people tour at Nghar Village in Gashish District, where an Imam saved more than 200 persons during an attack launched at the area by unknown gunmen Last June 23.
Our correspondent reports that last June attack left more than 200 persons killed and over 5,000 persons displaced but the Imam, Alh Abdullahi Abubakar hid a total of 218 persons in a Mosque.
That singular act had earned the Imam National and International Award as the UN envoy visited him and commended his courage and unequaled humanitarian gesture.
Mondyau said, “Today, we are Nghar village as a council, purposely to express our profound gratitude to Alh Abdullahi Abubakar for the exemplary demonstration of love and brotherhood expected from all and sundry for peaceful coexistence as a people.”
“Since the incident of last year, when your Imam shocked the whole World with such a unique compassion that earned you national and international awards, we have not come as a council to show our appreciation.
“We are so grateful to you sir, and we pray that the Almighty God will grant you long life and protect your family as you did to our Christian brothers and sisters at that trying moment.
“It is our belief that your home should be our first place of visit in this 2-Day meet the people tour of affected districts and villages within this local government and we are glad we meet you, “the Chairman explained.
The LG boss called on the citizens especially youths to emulate the Imam by demonstration of love and peaceful coexistence with people of other faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
According to him, “that’s the only way we can attract investors to this LGA and experience the desired growth and development.”
Responding, Abubakar thanked the Chairman and his entourage for finding it expedient to visit him and his people over what God’s grace enabled him to do.
Abubakar disclosed, “The very mosque I was able to save the 218 persons was built on a piece of land freely donated to us by the natives.”
“As God would do his things, it was the very place that gave some people hope to continue to live in spite of the misfortune that befell our village,” he stated.
The Imam said that the tour and visit was in the right direction to sensitize the people about the importance and benefits of peaceful coexistence.
Also speaking, Ardo of Nghar village, Alh. Idris Gidado, said that what the Imam did was a lesson to all the people of the world to learn and make the world a better place to live.
Gidado, however assured the Chairman of deliberate and conscious effort of the people of Nghar to embrace peace and continue to coexist for the development of the area.