A local Imam who reportedly shielded nearly 400 Christian villagers from being killed during the recent herdsmen attacks in Central Nigeria's Plateau State is said to have shared mutually beneficial relationship with the natives for years.
The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in the affected Nghar village is said to have contributed cash towards the building of the Mosque in which the attack fleeing Christians were camped during the attacks.
"It is worth noting that both the Christian and Muslim communities in Nghar, Yelwa village have enjoyed mutually beneficial relationship with the Church led by Rev. Davou Dako contributing to the construction of the Mosque.
"Until the outbreak of the attack, they were the envy of others by their exemplary coexistence," a legal luminary in the state, Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau said.
Alh. Abdullahi Abubakar, 82 reportedly displayed rare heroism when he faced irate members of his congregation who chased the Christian natives in June, 2018 with machetes and AK47 rifles during the attacks wherein over 200 people were killed.
Mohammed, also known as Mallam Tsoho along with other Muslim leaders - Mukaka Umar, Isa Haruna, Yau Lamu, Haruna Bukar and Abbas Lawal insisted that before any Christian in their custody would be killed, they would have to die, one of those saved said.
"The angry Muslim Fulani herders challenged their decisions to shield us in their mosque, saying 'that wasn't part of the arrangement' to our hearing," the survivor, a 50 year old woman told MKB.
Sheikh Mohammed was however the only one singled out for a national award by President Muhammadu Buhari as recently revealed by Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong.
Both President Buhari and Governor Lalong did not visit the devastated villages during their deliberations in the state capital on the attacks in June.
The State and National Emergency Management Agencies have sent humanitarian aids to the internally displaced persons from the attacked villages but a legal luminary, Barr. Ezekiel Mandyau thinks it is not enough.
Barr. Mandyau, a Local Government Chairmanship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC) says victims of the attacks in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and other LGAs deserve equal attention as the honour being considered for the heroic Muslim cleric.
The honour done the 82 year old, Barr. Mandyau views as worthwhile but believes equal attention for the surviving victims would be lifesaving.
"The Imam in question is like a father to me. While appreciating government for the recognition, we have expressed our appreciation to him and a few others who stood their ground to save those villagers.
"But we don't want to loose sight of the fact that something fast needs to be done for, particularly, the surviving victims," he said in a text message to MKB.
The Federal Government had announced a N10bn package for the attack victims as compensation for their losses during the attacks but it is not confirmed if any of the IDPs has received any of it.