Journalist Ahmad Salkida, Aisha Wakil and Ahmed Bolori, wanted dead or alive over links with Boko Haram have started submitting themselves to Nigerian Army.
Sani Usman, army spokesman, had in a statement on Sunday said, “There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram terrorists and have contacts with them. They must therefore come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok girls and other abducted persons to enable us to rescue them.
Based on that declaration, Ahmed Bolori, coordinator Fa’ash Foundation and the Partnership Against Violent Extremism, on Monday voluntarily surrendered himself to the Nigerian Army at the army command headquarters in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State
However, rather than getting harsh treatment he possibly would have expected, Bolori said he was entertained with tea by “a nice colonel”.
According to messages he published on his Facebook page with photos, there was no one to attend to him after he arrived at the headquarters of the army in Maiduguri.
“I’ve been here at the army command headquarters, Maiduguri, waiting to be invited in as scheduled. But yet, no response despite the text messages and calls I made to the army. I am a good citizen and so, I keep to my words. I said I will be here, and I am here! May God help us,” he initially wrote.
After another hour he wrote, “I have signed the visitors register since and I am still waiting to be taken in, although the Army guard doesn’t have airtime to contact his heads.”
When he finally entered, he sent an update again, writing: “The army is now treating me friendly and peacefully, as a nice colonel just took me to his office to drink tea. May God help us.”
According to another report, he was finally asked to go home.
Meanwhile, the remaining two have also expressed their wiliness to be at the army headquarters in Maiduguri.
Aisha Wakil, known as ‘Mama Boko Haram and a Nigerian lawyer, also on Monday said she was in Abuja and will have to travel to army headquarters in Maiduguri to make herself available to the army.
According to her, the news of her being wanted was received with ‘rude shock,’ because she is ‘not a stranger to the military’ hierarchy in the country.
“They know me very well, right from former President Goodluck Jonathan’s time. I am not hiding. I’ve had meeting with them, I still met with the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and other Army chiefs towards the end of last year. We had very lengthy meeting that we finished around 11p.m and the next day we continued.
“I’m in Abuja right now, but I am thinking of going back to Maiduguri so I can see them at the main barracks there. But if there’s anywhere I could see them in Abuja here I will go and see them,” she said.
In his reaction, journalist, Salkida, said he had commenced preparations to return to the country to honour the invitation.
In a statement he released on Monday, Mr. Salkida said the Army knew he was not in the country prior to being declared wanted, adding that his journey home would be quickened if the government could fund his trip.
“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.”
“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.
It was learnt that the army declared the trio wanted without any prior invitation or information.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
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