A group of Nigerian civil society organizations (CSOs) have called on the federal government to investigate threats made to journalist Ahmad Salkida, who has received renewed threats to his life since publishing a report on the 82 Chibok girls recently released by Boko Haram.
In a press release published on Wednesday, the activists recalled that Mr. Salkida was targeted by the Nigerian Army in the past. In August 2016, he was declared wanted by the army for his alleged involvement with Boko Haram.
The group explained that he complied with the army by submitting himself for interrogation and was released without any charges pressed against him.
But in the wake of his breaking story on the release of the Chibok girls, Mr. Salkida has once again become the target of threats.
“The threats to his life, attempts to block him from professionally seeking a livelihood, attempts to profile him and intimidate him [have] continued,” the group said.
According to the group, Mr. Salkida has also had charges filed against him by a “shadowy” group called the Incorporated Trustees of Overt Legacy and Human Development Initiative.
The purported non-governmental organization, which lacks a website or any organizational information online, called on the authorities to arrest and prosecute Mr. Salkida for “committing acts of terrorism to wit; arranging, managing and participating in meetings with Boko Haram terrorists as well as rendering support to Boko Haram terrorist group by distributing terrorist information through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other electronic means.”
In light of the foregoing, the group called on the federal government to investigate the NGO that filed the charges as well as individuals who have threatened him. The group further called on the government to ensure that all journalists are protected in order to allow them to exercise their rights to free speech and press, which are crucial to democracy.
“We therefore are obliged to call on the federal government to swiftly investigate the activities of these neo-NGOs and several individuals online and offline threatening Salkida and parading themselves as defenders of government.
“We also urge all appropriate security agencies to guarantee the safety of journalists and public commentators all over Nigeria and to particularly guarantee Salkida’s continued professional practice without let or hinder,” the group concluded.