World Bulletin/News Desk
Leaders of the Fulani community in the Nigeria's northeastern Borno State have denied reports about the abduction of 20 women by Boko Haram militants.
"We need to tell the world that there is nothing like that," Amadu Musa, Borno chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), told reporters late Friday.
"Our women and girls are intact," he said.
Last week, media had reported that some 20 Fulani women had been abducted by Boko Haram militants, who called for their release on a ransom of 30 cows.
"It takes us this long to respond because we made series of consultation to avoid issuing conflicting statements that will generate tension," Musa said.
"Though our people are nomads who frequently move in search of pasture, I have representatives in all the local govt areas of Borno. We have Lamidos and Ardos in all localities," he said.
"We took time to consult all of them and there was no incident of abduction. I believe the whole furor is the creation if some people."
Lamidos and Ardos are the leaders of Fulani people in different localities nationwide.
Musa said that all Fulani representatives in towns and villages have confirmed that no women had been abducted.
"We equally cross-checked with our people coming back with their cows and families to the extreme northern parts of Nigeria from southern part of the country and they confirmed that all is well," he added.
In mid-April, Boko Haram militants stormed a high school in Borno State, loading scores of schoolgirls onto trucks before driving away unchallenged.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in Nigeria's local Hausa language, first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption.
The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks – on places of worship and government institutions – and thousands of deaths.
Last Mod: 14 Haziran 2014, 15:15