AHMAD Salkida, a conflict and terrorism reporter and the Publisher of HumAngle Media says threats from some persons and institutions would not deter him from continuing his professional duty.
Salkida made this known in a statement made available to The ICIR on Friday.
“I have personally been under repeated threats. I once fled this country with my family on account of the threats to my life.”
“While out in exile, the Nigerian Army declared me a wanted man. I took a flight and presented myself. They had nothing on me.
“I will restate that I’m a journalist, and I am committed to making my contribution to making Nigeria a better place for all, I do this professionally through the instrumentality of news reporting,” Salkida said.
According to him, the reason behind the renewed threats was due to an investigation published by the HumAngle in September that revealed the detainment and arrest of husbands of some Borno State women.
“I worked with other team members in our newsroom to do an expose published on HumAngle on September 30.
“The investigative report amplifies the voices of women in Borno State whose husbands were ostensibly framed up, detained, tortured and in some cases disappeared by state actors while converting the women into sex slaves: Knifar: Women Facing Forced Family Separation By Soldiers Cry Out,” the statement read.
Salkida added that some groups, individuals and online platforms have also aided attempts to discredit his credibility and that of reports from his medium.
“On October 3, 2020, a platform, GCFR NG, seemingly a parody effort out to benefit from the time-honoured national honour rank, ran a misfit of a story, “Beware of Boko Haram agent, Ahmad Salkida-CAFA warns Nigerians.” The said report was derived from a random statement by a group that goes by the name, Citizens Against Fake Activists, (CAFA).
“One Comrade Richard Adie reportedly signed the statement. The group’s name is, however, not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. It does not have any physical address or functional website and has no tangible physical or digital footprints whatsoever. The names associated with it are shadowy, bearing imaginary ghost emblems,” the statement read.
Salkida stated that some newspapers including the Vanguard, Independent and Blueprint fell for the attempts to taint his work and declared him a terrorist.
“On October 7, another faceless group, International Human Rights Protection Forum, (IHRPF), cast in similar anonymity as the first and calling itself public interest lawyers, released a statement reportedly addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to media houses.”
“As in the first, this group would want the government to classify Salkida as a terrorist and prosecute him. A few newspapers, including Vanguard, Independent and Blueprint, against the flow of the professional doctrines of satisfying factual and verifiable evidence in news reports, ran the statement,” Salkida stated.
He noted that the newspapers who published the said statement made no attempt to verify the claims of the author before the statement was published.
“No attempts were committed to verifying the claims and criminal allusions nor did any of the papers run a check on the identity of the platforms and individuals making the utterly vexatious claims,” he noted.
“The time tested ethos of the diligent process in news reporting seems to frequently suffer grave blows whenever the agents of fascism in Nigeria want to hang any spurious accusations on Salkida. This is deplorable.”
Salkida’s statement further read that ‘for the media platforms, in this particular case Vanguard, Independent and Blueprint, enmeshed in this unprofessional act of routinely doing the hatchet job for rogue officials, erasing all representations and manifestations of press freedom in a democratic country, I can assure you that posterity will mark you out for opprobrium’.