Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who hid 262 Christians in his Mosque and his home in June 2018, when gunmen launched a bloody attack on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government, Plateau State, was conferred an Honorary Degree at the Second Combined Convocation Ceremony of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti.
He received an honorary doctoral degree alongside two other notable Nigerians, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye, and an American Septuagenarian, Chief Guy Gargiulo, who was a former headteacher in Akoko, Ondo State.
Imam Abubakar Abdullahi was announced as one of the recipients of the 2019 US International Religious Freedom Awards and several organisations (including FUOYE), have commended Abdullahi’s courage in the face of imminent danger and his history of reaching across religious divides.
During his speech, Vice-Chancellor Kayode Soremekun congratulated the awardees and urged Nigerians to follow in their footsteps. He praised and appreciated the 86-year-old Imam for his exceptionally good deed, the Catholic Bishop for his acts of philanthropy over the years and Guy Gargiulo, for leaving his country and dedicating over 60 years of his life teaching and moulding young children’s lives in Ondo State.
The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation, Muhammadu Buhari praised the Vice-Chancellor for steering the ship of the ship in the right direction.
He stated, “As a Government, we take pride in our popular appeal to integrity. I congratulate you for attaining this lofty height and call on all Nigeria University to emulate the inspiring story,” as he noted that Imam Abdullahi has shown a new Nigeria is possible.
The Imam was conferred with the Degree of Doctor of Peace Studies (HONORIS CAUSA) while the Bishop and Garguilo were conferred with the Degree of Doctor of Public Administration (HONORIS CAUSA).
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