Sex starved gunmen suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday invaded a village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State where they abducted 22 under-aged girls.
It was gathered that the gunmen had given notice about their plan to comb the community for young girls that would assuage their amorous desires.
They told the community leader not to panic as the girls, aged 15 to 17 years, would only be used for forced marriages.
A community leader who sought anonymity said they had earlier informed them that the girls should be withdrawn from the school because they would come to marry them, adding they were surprised that the gunmen came yesterday to pick the girls without any security check.
He said that the group leader identified as Malam Sadiku led several operations in the area, preaching weird Islamic ideology unhindered for several months.
“They operate freely but when they identify a stranger in the community, they usually feel threatened; they either plan for the abduction of the stranger or chase the person away; we reported several times to the authorities,” he said.
It will be recalled that the Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, had raised the alarm several times that an Islamic group akin to Boko Haram had hoist their flag in Kaure a village close to Kurebe.
The chairman of Shiroro local government area, Suleiman Dauda Chukuba, had also raised the alarm over the activities of the group, calling for urgent action.
Also on Wednesday night, suspected bandits launched their first attack on a suburb of Minna, the state capital and abducted a patent medicine dealer simply identified as Sunday Anthony
It was learnt that the armed men specifically came for the dealer and picked him in his home at Maikunkele, Bosso local government area of Niger State.
LEADERSHIP Friday learnt that the abduction of Anthony was the first to be recorded around the state capital.
It was learnt that the bandits who came through the thick forest of Kampala axis were shooting randomly and went straight to the house to pick only the patent medicine dealer in his house.
An eyewitness account revealed that the bandits’ operation lasted only 10 minutes as they hurriedly picked Anthony about 9 pm, indicating that he was the target.
When contacted the police public relations officer Niger state command, Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached for confirmation but a senior police officer who preferred anonymity confirmed the incident.
He said police were on the trail of the abductors.
It would also be recalled that gunmen abducted a young person adjacent the gate of the Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna less than two weeks ago