A Nigerian journalist with vast experience in reporting the Boko Haram insurgency in north eastern part of the country, Ahmad Salkida has raised the alarm over what he described as threats and smear campaigns against him.
Salkida who is the editor in chief of HumAngle Media disclosed his latest travails in a statement Friday. He said “In the past few days some paid hacks operating under different spurious banners and using a few sloppy media platforms have been used to drum up a virulent campaign to smear and call for the head of Ahmad Salkida, Editor-in-Chief, Chief Executive officer of HumAngle Media. “
He named some of shadowy groups that have ran stories disparaging him. Among the cases Salkida highlighted was that of a group of “ lawyers” who “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.”
The journalist asked, “What is the reason behind this renewed desperation to contrive any manner of a criminal act and hang upon Salkida?”
He recalled: “I worked with other team members in our newsroom to do an expose published in 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.”
He also slammed some mainstream newspapers for uncritically allowing articles smearing him pass without cross- checking the facts.
Salkida noted further, “The piles of unverified criminal smears on my person did not start today, nor is it limited to my person. For instance, Amnesty International has been routinely accused of unimaginable things and threatened.
“Clear-headed individuals will not dig too deeply to connect the dots between the steady demonisation of Amnesty International and the organisation’s investigation and reporting of serial extrajudicial killings across the country by state actors.
“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. As professionals in the fourth estate of the realm, we owe it to society to continually commit to the best standards of credibility,” Salkida said.