Ahmed Salkida, a journalist who shared Boko Haram’s recent video, was arrested on the evening of Monday, September 5th, upon arrival at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja, the country’s political capital.
Declared wanted alongside Ahmed Umar Bolori and Aisha Alkali Wakil by the Nigerian Army since August 14, 2016, Salkida came back to Nigeria to subject himself to interrogation by the military.
The Nigerian military believed the three wanted citizens have access to leaders of Boko Haram, and could have knowledge of where the April 2014 abducted schoolgirls are being kept.
The military objective, according to an Army colonel reached by an Armed Politics correspondent, is to utilize the alleged connection of the wanted citizens with Boko Haram, in securing release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
“It is the hope of the military that these individuals can speed all efforts to ameliorate insurgency, if peaceful dialogues can be reached via their contacts with the sect’s leading figures,” says the military personnel individual who seeks anonymity.
A passenger seated next to Mr. Salkida during the trip said she recognized him from his photos that were posted on the internet upon declaring him wanted last August, and decided to engage him. She revealed to men of the press that the journalist himself had expected to be arrested straight from the airport.
According to the woman, Salkida said “I’m travelling with an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) and the State Security Service (SSS) is aware of my arrival.” Salkida fears that he will not be given a fair trial, and accused the government of pronouncing him guilty without trial.
Salkida, who has been resident in the Middle East since three years ago, was forced to return back after the government refused to renew his passport when he approached the Nigerian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.
Adedayo Osho is a political analyst and freelance journalist. Twitter: @jahpolitical