AN Imam in Nghar Yelwa, in Plateau State, has explained how a number of terrified people from a neighbouring village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area ran into his village last Sunday and how he saved them from armed men who had overrun their homes.
The BBC which reported the incident did not disclose the name of the Imam just as it covered the face of the man in a photograph it published online.
The suspected herdsmen killed scores of people in about 12 villages and destroyed property there.
The state governor, Simon Lalong, said more than 200 people died in the attack, but according to the villagers, the death toll was bigger than that.
“I first admitted the women into my personal house and hid them there. Then I took the men to the mosque to go and hide,” he told BBC News Pidgin.
The total number of people the Imam said he hid both in his house and inside the mosque was 262.
Many of the Berom people from Barkin-Ladi, including Muslims, had run to Nghar Yelwa, which was the nearest village to them, for safety.
When the armed men came to meet the Imam, they reportedly told him to surrender the Christians among those he was hiding so they could kill them but the man declined,” the BBC reported.
According to BBC News Pidgin, the Imam said he lied that the people inside the mosque were all Muslims and begged the armed men to go and that was how some Beroms in the village survived the attack.
The survivors are said to still be living in the mosque since they have no homes anymore to return to.
The Berom people were said to have given the Muslim community the land free to build the mosque.