At least 60 women and girls have been reportedly abducted in a Borno village by gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram, locals and security sources have said.
The abduction took place in a village called Kummabza, a farming community not more than 25km away from Lassa town in Askira-Uba local government area of Borno State.
But the fresh abduction, which was said to have been carried out on Saturday, was not made public until Monday when members of the local vigilante broke the news to journalists in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
The security officials in Maiduguri have, however, denied knowledge of such abduction which occurred in a location not more than 150 kilometre away from the state capital.
A senior local government official in Damboa local council told LEADERSHIP in confidence that the abduction did take place. He ,however, stated that he was not authorised to make categorical statement on the matter to the press.
The Secretary of Damboa local government area of the state, Modu Mustapha did not confirm or deny the abduction. He simply said, "I am not in the position to tell you anything. Only the chairman has the authority to talk to you, please get across to him."
Efforts to get the chairman of the local government, Alhaji Alamin Mohammed, proved abortive at press time as he did not answer his calls or respond to the text messages sent to him.
But a local member of the vigilante from that area, Aji Khalil, had a different figure on the abduction. According to him the total number of women abducted by the insurgents was 91.
He said, "The women were abducted between Thursday and Sunday in Southern Borno villages of Kummabza, Yaga and Dagu, Damboa local government area, Borno State.
Khalil said, "Some suspected Boko Haram members invaded Kumanza, Yaga and Dagu villages and kidnapped 91 persons. More than 60 married women and young girls were kidnapped while the rest 31 young men were forcefully taken away by Boko Haram terrorists. Four villagers who tried to escape were shot dead on the spot" Khali said on phone today".
When contacted, the Borno State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Gideon Jubrin, denied knowledge of the latest abduction. He said, "honestly the command has not received any of such report concerning the abduction of women or girls; but we will still investigate and if we get anything, we will get across to you"