August 14, 2016, had begun rather normally in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, for Ahmad Salkida until he tuned in to Aljazeera, a popular international news platform, to see that he had been declared wanted by his country’s military.
Salkida, a freelance journalist at the time, would later be deported to Nigeria on September 6, 2016, for allegedly withholding information that could have helped the army in recovering 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.
In an article he penned for HumAngle on Monday, he recalls that his reports on the terrorist sect were in line with professional journalistic practices, and were referenced in Bring Back Our Girls, a book published by Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw.
“I was very shocked because I had a chat with the Chief of Army Staff less than two weeks before the embarrassing declaration by the Army under his leadership. According to the Army spokesman at the time, my crime was that I knew where the Chibok Girls were and refused to share their location with the military,” Salkida wrote.
“The Nigerian Army was not interested in many of my efforts in providing insights and opportunities for a de-escalation of the crisis from 2012 to date. On behalf of the Nigerian government, I had engaged with the leadership of the non-state actors several times.
“But why was I in self-exile outside the country in the first place? In March 2013, I had fled Abuja to live in the beautiful city of Sharjah with my family after a failed assassination attempt on my life by some rogue security officials in Abuja.”
He was eventually cleared of all accusations, but has since been unable to return to the UAE as his record as a wanted man is yet to be erased with the Arabian country’s authorities.
This experience has since fueled his drive to “produce a unique platform that would predominantly report insecurity and conflict” as opposed to his original idea of a general interest platform.
His harassment by the Nigerian military and the Department of State Services (DSS) only aided his evolution from a reporter to a publisher.
In March 2020, Salkida and Dr. Obiora Chukwumba founded HumAngle Media, a bright and fast-growing Nigerian newspaper.
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