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How Muslim cleric ‘hid Christians inside mosque’ during Plateau attack

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An Imam in Plateau reportedly hid over 200 people, including Christians, inside a mosque during last weekend’s attack in the state.

According to BBC Pidgin, the religious leader, whose identity was not disclosed, saw people fleeing Birkin Ladi Local Government Area where part of the killings took place.

He was said to have rendered them assistance by offering a mosque in Nghar Yelwa, his village, as a place of refuge.

The imam was said to have hid the women in his house before taking the men to the mosque.

“I first took the women to my personal house to hide them there,  then, I took the men to the mosque to hide, ” the imam reportedly said. After hiding them,  some armed men reportedly approached the imam, asking him to identify the Christians among the people. He was said to have lied that they were all Muslims. According to the report, he laid on the floor, begging the armed men to leave. One of the survivors of the attack lamented the death of his son. Another man expressed sadness over how more than 60 victims were buried in a mass grave. Look at how they are buried. Where do we run to?  We were born here and we grew up here but they want us to leave. To where?” he cried.

Over 200 people were killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has alleged the killings were  “orchestrated with political and religious mindsets,” just as it condemned the killing of scores of citizens in three local government areas of Plateau State between Saturday and Sunday. The Sultan of Sokoto is president general of the JNI and the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, an umbrella body of all Nigerian Muslims.

The Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, in a statement on behalf of the Sultan, described the incident as “sad,” after three years of unbroken peaceful co-existence in Plateau.

“We also advise that serious security measures should be taken on all the identified villages that have been notorious in causing distress to motorists, particularly in Kaduna and Plateau states.”

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