A plot is being put together to arrest and indefinitely detain Mr. Ahmad Salkida, the journalist with proven access to Boko Haram, by inventing grave allegations against him, sources have disclosed to SaharaReporters.
The journalist recently returned to the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following being declared wanted by the Nigerian Army. Security sources disclosed that the plot to frame Salkida is being authored by prominent figures within security and political circles, who want him detained indefinitely on the conviction that his access to Boko Haram was not strictly because he is a journalist and for frequently putting a lie to claims by security agencies in the Northeastern part of the country.
Since his release, his passport has been withheld by the Directorate of State Security (DSS), which has also refused to write a letter of clearance required by the UAE authorities to allow him and his family back into the country. The journalist has denied having links to the terrorist group beyond that which is job requires but, according to sources, admitted that he convinced the fundamentalist sect to release the latest video of the Chibok girls. Salkida's return to the country, disclosed sources, was made possible by a security agency, which provided flight tickets for him and his family. On arrival at the airport, he was picked up and his phones were seized by the Army. He was immediately taken in for questioning and slept in a military guard room in Gowon Barracks with some suspects.
Salkida, disclosed sources, was stripped and treated like a common criminal until the DSS intervened and got him transferred to its custody from which he was released the next morning.
Sources further informed that Salkida impressed his interrogators with his knowledge of the insurgency and insisted he has no other relationship with the terrorists other than for the purpose of reporting. He was said to have told interrogators that he was ready to go to jail if they find evidence of wrongdoing against him. He was also said to have begged the government to give him a clearance letter to show officials in Dubai so he and his family could be allowed entry into the country.
Salkida was declared wanted along with two other persons, but sources disclosed that he is the only one of interest to security agencies, the reason for which he was the only one arrested despite coming to the country on his own.
Currently, the important figures he knows in government no longer take his calls. Security agencies, sources informed, have warned him to stay away from his lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, and the diplomatic community if he wants his family to return to the UAE. Before the deadline given for his return by the UAE expired, he was said to have begged the government for money for air fare and rent for his family in Dubai, but got none.
"This is a man they said has made money from negotiations in the past We are following him around Abuja everyday. He is in an empty house with his family and is relying on his few friends and family to feed; he has got nothing.
"This man has worked more than anyone on the Chibok girls; he has written a lot that has helped the country over the years. He was the one that even brought the ransom from over 50 million Euros to a million dollars. He did most of the groundwork, he made Boko Haram flexible. He did most of the work for which the current negotiators are taking the glory today," said a security source.
The source added that Salkida was supposed to be involved in the negotiations that saw the 21 girls released, but the Federal Government warned him to stay away from the Swiss negotiators.
Salkida is said to be angry over the non-release of his passport and the fact that Boko Haram leaders no longer trust him.