Ahmed Salkida, a journalist who was declared wanted by the Nigeria Army in connection with a new video released by Boko Haram over alleged Chibok girls, has said he will answer to the ‘wanted’ summon when it is possible for him to do so.
He however said if the Army wanted his so urgently, it could send him a flight ticket.
Speaking from an undisclosed location, Salkida said he had honoured invitations by the Nigerian Army in the past and was willing to make himself available again.
He wrote: “My attention has been drawn to a public notice put out by the Nigerian Army and signed by Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations. The statement declaring me wanted seeks culpable grounds to punish me on account of “last two videos released by Boko Haram terrorists and other findings…” by the Army.
“Clearly, my status as a Nigerian journalist who has reported extensively, painstakingly and consistently on the Boko Haram menace in the country since 2006 is an open book known to Nigerians and the international community. Equally, my total allegiance and sacrifice to the Federal Republic of Nigeria is self-evident. I have stayed within the creed of professional journalism in my work.
“As a testimony to the credible and professional values of my access, since May 2015, l have been to Nigeria three times on the invitation of Federal Government agencies. I made personal sacrifices for the release of our Chibok daughters.
“Finally, the Army is aware that I am not in Nigeria presently. In the coming days I will seek to get a flight to Abuja and avail myself to the Army authorities. Indeed, my return will be hastened if the Military sends me a ticket”.
The Nigeria Army, had in a statement signed by its spokesman, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, declaring the journalist wanted said: “The world is quite aware of the abduction of several persons; women, children and men, including the female students of Government Secondary School Chibok, Borno State Nigeria by Boko Haram Terrorists group.
“Consequently, appeal was made for their unconditional release by the Federal Government. The military also made concerted efforts to rescue them. We also appealed to Nigerians that have any information to volunteer to the military or security agencies to enable us rescue them.
“However, two recent incidents have pointed to the fact that, there are three individuals namely; Ahmed Salkida, (Ambassador) Ahmed U. Bolori and Aisha Wakil that have information on the conditions and the exact location of these girls. Therefore, the Nigerian Army hereby declare the two gentlemen and the lady wanted for interrogation. We are relying on the relevant laws of the land and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended) where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists’ activities. This becomes necessary as a result of their link with the last two videos released by Boko Haram Terrorists and other findings of our preliminary investigations.
“There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram Terrorists and have contacts with them. They must therefore come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok Girls and other abducted persons to enable us rescue them.
“We are therefore calling on all Nigerians and peace loving people to give us useful information on their whereabouts. We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they failed to turn up”.