The caretaker chairman of Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State, Shettima Maina, said on Sunday that suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked communities in the council and kidnapped some residents.
Mr. Maina told journalists in Maiduguri that at least 17 people were killed by the gunmen whose attack on the communities started on Wednesday. He said 30 young men and women were also abducted by the insurgents.
The Borno State Police Command, however, said it is not aware of the attacks while an official of the Department of State Security, DSS, said the abductions could not have been in one swoop.
“We have received reports of series of attacks in communities near Mafa since last week, and during the attack Boko Haram used to pick younger ladies and boys and forcefully take them away,” a DSS official who sought anonymity said on Sunday. “But we are not sure if there was a bigger kidnap that may have involved up to 30 girls.
A local vigilante official, Abbas Gava, told PREMIUM TIMES that the Boko Haram gunmen abducted about 25 women between Wednesday and Thursday last week; but only left with young ladies, leaving the older women behind.
While speaking on the kidnap, the council chairman said “at present, there is massive abduction of youth by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.”
“We are appealing to the federal government to come to our aid because the insurgents have invaded our communities. From the information available to us, about 30 youth have been taken away and the insurgents are tormenting the communities by carrying out daily attacks.
“The mass influx of our people to Maiduguri and other neighbouring towns for fear of being killed or losing their children to the insurgents is a clear testimony that we are passing through difficult times,” he added.
Some of the residents of Mafa who are now taking refuge in Maiduguri said they have also lost their livestock and food items to the Boko Haram.
“After killing our people, the insurgents also stole about 300 cows and foodstuff”, Ashiekh Mustapha, a community leader from Ndongo, said.
The Borno Police spokesperson, Gideon Jubrin, told journalists on phone that the police have not been informed about the abductions.
The military is also yet to speak on the recent abductions.
The abductions and attacks by the Boko Haram have continued despite the federal government’s claim that it had entered a ceasefire with the group. The insurgents are also yet to release the over 200 Chibok female students kidnapped on April 14, contrary to government’s stated expectations.