Dubai-based journalist Salkida, in a statement on Monday, posited that the Army knew he was not in the country before declaring him wanted, adding that he would appreciate it if his return home was facilitated by the government, Premium Times writes.
“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.
In a surprise move on Sunday, the Nigerian army declared Salkida, along with two others – Ahmed U Bolori and Aisha Wakil – wanted for their alleged ties to the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
Though the army declined to state why they were declared wanted, it is believed that it was in connection to the release of the latest Boko Haram video showing dozens of the Chibok girls abducted in 2014. The terrorists said they were willing to exchange the girls for their fighters detained by the government.
Salkida, who is believed to have the confidence of senior members of the sect, released the video earlier on Sunday through his Twitter account.
The trio had allegedly committed offences that contravened the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011, by not providing information about the group, the Army said in a statement by its spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.
In his reaction, Mr. Salkida further alleged that the Army was declaring him wanted for simply carrying out his professional duties as a journalist.
“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, also declared wanted by the army, who earlier reported that he had honoured the invitation of the military authorities but was told to wait until they were ready for interrogations, shared in a Facebook post minutes ago that he was being treated well by the Nigerian army.
See tweet as shared by @Remi_Kuti:
Ahmed Bolori, who was declared wanted by the Army, offered tea after he arrived at… pic.twitter.com/n0ZS94UNIc
— ff @replayList (@Remi_Kuti) August 15, 2016
Wife of Justice Alkali Gana Wakil, Aisha Wakil, also listed as wanted by the Nigerian Army, said in a recent statement:
“Though they may not appreciate all her efforts to proffer peaceful solutions to the menace of Boko Haram, but her character should not be defamed.”
Read her full statement here.