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Boko Haram

21.11.2021 news How Boko Haram Jihadist Married 17-Year-Old Girl in Niger

Published 21st Nov, 2021

By Yakubu Mohammed

In October, residents of the Kurebe area of Niger State experienced another face of the Boko Haram reign. The residents and the terrorists could now live in peace and harmony, provided the former abided by the rulings of the latter.

“They have been preaching against us since last month,” said an elder in Kurebe. “They denounce us before our children, instilling in them weird Islamic ideologies.”

Residents enduring the reign of the terrorists gave different reasons Kurebe, a community known for peace, is now the home of dozens of Boko Haram insurgents.

One said the terrorists have had free access to the community since the evacuation of military personnel about three months ago. Another said the insurgents infiltrated their community through the Kaduna-Niger porous borders.

READ MORE: FOCUS: Niger Communities Where Boko Haram Rules and Security Agents Watch

“Why the military formation was withdrawn remains unknown to us,” a resident told FIJ. “We were only told they would be replaced at the time they were being evacuated.”

A few months ago, the jihadist gathered members of the community and told them all young girls had to get married lest they were forcefully married to terrorists.

Following the order, village elders in Kurebe advised that all their girls take shelter at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps to prevent the terrorists from marrying them. But one Zainab Abu would not go; she would rather get married to a jihadist.

Zainab, 17, soon became the wife of a dreaded Boko Haram member in the community. Her sudden desire to be married to a Boko Haram terrorist created an atmosphere of discomfort for the elders of the village. But her decision was made already.

READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: How Boko Haram Jihadist Snatched 25 Communities From Niger State Govt

“The father pleaded with her, but she would not listen,” a local who witnessed the wedding told FIJ. “Just last month, her terrorist suitor came with his cohorts, seeking her hand in marriage. She accepted with her mother’s support.”

Community leaders are worried that after Zainab relocated to the terrorists’ den, from where she often comes to visit her mother, other girls might be indoctrinated.

“We are scared she might lure other girls into an unholy marriage with other members of the group,” one of the community leaders said.

As it stands, residents of Kurebe do not know the terrorists’ next plan.

“Who knows what they will be up to the next time they’ll come?” A resident asked. “Anything can happen since there are no military checkpoints in this axis.”

READ ALSO: FACT CHECK: Boko Haram Did Not Kidnap 22 Girls for Marriage in Niger

The Niger State Government is aware of the presence of Boko Haram in the state, but it is helpless.

Suleiman Chukuba, chairman of Shiroro Local Government, confirmed the influx of Boko Haram elements, saying four wards had been affected.

He said the residents knew from their mode of preaching that they were Boko Haram elements.

“They told villagers that they had money to help them and that they had guns to give them to fight the government. And that is the same doctrine we know Boko Haram elements promote,” he said.

Published 21st Nov, 2021

By Yakubu Mohammed

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