Ahmad Salkida, the Nigerian journalist declared wanted by the Nigerian Army for alleged ties to Boko Haram sect, said he would return to the country to honour the invitation.
Mr. Salkida who was declared wanted alongside two others owing to the Boko Haram’s latest video, made this statement on Monday, Aug 15th. He said that the Army knew he was not in the country prior to being declared wanted, adding that his journey home would be quickened if the government could fund his trip.
“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,” Mr. Salkida said.
Moreover, The Army in a statement by its spokesman, Sani Usman, stated that the wanted journalists-Mr. Salkida, Ahmed Bolori and Aisha Wakil- allegedly committed offences that contravened the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011, by not providing information about the group.
He further said that the three individuals were also wanted for their alleged roles in the release of Boko Haram’s recent videos which showed alledged Chibok schoolgirls pleading and a masked man behind them demanding the release of the sects detained members in exchange for the girls.
In his reaction, Mr. Salkida who has written extensively about the Boko Haram sect, said the Army was declaring him wanted for simply carrying out his professional duties as a journalist, adding that he did most of his work with “total allegiance and sacrifice to the Federal Republic of Nigeria” and had visited Nigeria three times within the past year on the invitation of the Nigerian government, in an effort to rescue the abducted girls.
“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,” Mr. Salkida said.
“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,” Mr. Salkida said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bolori, One of the three persons declared wanted by the army said he made himself available to the military authorities for questioning but was told to wait.