© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
I am not a ‘courier’ to Boko Haram, Salkida condemns PUNCH publication
A CONFLICT and terrorism reporter, Ahmad Salkida has slammed the PUNCH newspaper over a January 27 publication that described him as a ‘courier and media relations expert to Boko Haram terrorist group’.
Salkida in a press statement said the January 27 PUNCH publication captioned ‘FG, Salkida know Leah’s whereabouts-Father’ addressed his personality in an unfavourable manner.
He said the statement that he is a ‘courier’ to the terrorist group is a plot by the Newspaper to question his professional integrity.
“But particularly grave and injurious to my person and professional integrity is the assertion by Punchng.com in the following description: “Ahmad Salkida, known for being the courier and media relations expert for the dreaded Islamist Boko Haram terrorist group,” he noted.
“That line is a premeditated attack on my reputation and professional integrity carefully plotted, in the light of the upsurge of official persecution of journalists on trumped-up charges not excluding terrorism, by the newspaper to open me up for the next onslaught by the powers that be, “ Salkida wrote.
Salkida said he has approached he has forwarded the newspapers report to his lawyers who shall advise him on the next line of action after closer analysis.
“I do not take this lightly and have forwarded the report to my lawyers for closer analysis and advice, “he noted.
Speaking on his relationship with his sources, Salkida stated that he had developed ‘professional sources from the side of the government and the terrorist which has given him privileges to information.
He wrote, “As a journalist focusing on insecurity, particularly in the North East of Nigeria, I have painstakingly developed professional sources from all sides including the protagonists and the antagonists”.
He stated further that he has continued to face unwarranted victimization by the media, security forces and religious organization.
Salkida noted that a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga had once publicly accused him of treason over his report of an insurgency attack on the military.
He stated further that as a professional in his field of journalism, he understands the modus operandi of his profession and he is not a ‘Commander-In-Chief’’.
“I am a journalist, a professional journalist and I know the boundaries, the ethics and the responsibilities of my calling. I am not a Commander-In-Chief. I do the best I can, always, to stick to those boundaries. The accusations notwithstanding, I shall continue to do my utmost best to bring verified and credible information to Nigerians in the areas I cover,” the conflict and terrorism reporter wrote.