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Authorities Fail To Renew Salkida’s Passport

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Ahmed Salkida
Ahmed Salkida

Reports indicate that the passport of Ahmed Salkida, the journalist who was declared wanted by the army for allegedly having links to the Boko Haram terroris group, has not been renewed by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.

An online newspaper, THE CABLE reports that the refusal of the Nigerian army to issue a public apology after it cleared Salkida of felony, may have resulted in the journalist being blacklisted.

Salkida is said to have contacts to some Boko Haram fighters, and the group usually pass information through him, to the public.

For instance, when the Boko Haram released a new video purportedly showing the kidnapped Chibok girls, the video was first sent to Salkida, who shared it on his tweeter handle the night before the terrorists posted it on youtube.

He was consequently declared wanted on August 15, alongside two others,  and he travelled from his base in the United Arab Emirates, where he was on self-exile, to answer the summon by Nigeria’s military authorities.

At the time, Salkida’s passport was said to have expired, but NIS officials in the UAE did not renew it rather he was issued with a travel certificate.

The Cable’s report noted that “till date, the immigration service is yet to issue him his new passport despite his application, suggesting that he might have been blacklisted.”

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Salkida was reported to have demanded a public apology from the army after his interrogation, without which he would not be cleared to return to the UAE where his wife and four children resided.

“The security authorities in Nigeria promised to issue the apology but did not and the journalist had no other option than to bring his family abruptly to Abuja, last week,” the report quoted a security source as saying.

Salkida, in various posts on his Twitter handle, had lamented the “stigma” and “unbearable suffering” he has had to endure since he was linked to the Boko Haram.

On Sunday, he tweeted that he may be forced to open an online account in order to publicly raise funds.

“I will soon set up a gofundme account, as painful as this is, it is the most pragmatic thing to do before I get my life back,” he wrote in the tweet.

Salkida believes that he is being unjustly punished by the Nigerian authorities for being a “credible counter” to the some of the “misleading narrative” on the war in the north-east.

However, when Ekpedeme King, spokesman of the NIS, was contacted on the issue, he said: “I can’t confirm that, but it is not true.”

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Also, an army source who did not want to be named, said the army never promised to issue a public apology to Salkida.

“The army has not made a statement on this issue, and it will remain so until investigation is concluded,” he said. “There was never a time the army promised to issue a public apology to anybody. When the time comes, the army will issue a statement.”

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