– The head of Nghar Yelwa village of Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state, Da Mafulun Mangai, escaped death with over 300 Christians in the state on Saturday, June 23
– He says he and others were fed for four days by the Muslim cleric who saved them
– Imam Abdullahi Abubakar came to the rescue of those Christians who were being attacked by armed men by hiding them in the mosque
After escaping death through the intervention of Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved about 300 Christians from suspected herdsmen in Nghar Yelwa village of Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state, the village head, Da Mafulun Mangai, has narrated the event of that day.
Sixty-one-year-old Mangai explained how he escaped death and how he and the others were fed by the Imam for four days in an interview he granted Punch on Sunday, August 5.
We gathered that the village head, who worships at the Church of Christ for All Nations, said if not for the Imam and his assistants, they would have been killed by their attackers.
He said: “On June 23, we were attacked around 3pm by armed Fulani men, who surrounded our village. We were over 300 people and mostly Christians. We started running in different directions to see how we will escape. When we entered Yelwa, the Imam and his assistants allowed us into the mosque.”
Mangai said some of his people were not lucky as they were killed while running towards Yelwa, adding that their properties were looted before their houses, cars and motorcycles were burnt by the bandits.
He said: “The assailants actually destroyed everything in our village, stole our sheep, goats and everything. We were kept in the mosque for four days, while Muslims held their prayers outside. They were feeding us day and night. On Sunday, the security operatives came and convinced some of our people to go to the internally displaced peoples camp.
“On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they also came to evacuate people to the IDPs camps. I was the last person to leave that village to the camp on Thursday, June 28. Thank God, we are now alive to tell our stories. If not because of the Imam and his assistants, we would have been killed. Whatever we do, we should always put God first and He will give us strength to do everything.
Mangai called on the security operatives to always act fast and respond to emergency situations, noting that the attack started by 3pm but the security personnel came to the village by 8pm when the killers had concluded their operations and gone.
He also called on the government to pay more attention to the rural areas because everybody cannot be in the towns and cities.
The village head added: “There are eight security operatives that were in the community when the attackers struck, but they had no guns and ammunition. We don’t have security at the moment. Nobody is protecting us. We are still vulnerable.”