Recent developments in Nigeria have cast the relationship between government and independent journalists as well as public commentators in a disturbing veil of growing anxiety and tension. No fewer than five current governors have thrown journalists and public commentators into detention in the past few months over their comments and reports regarding public policies initiated by these government agencies. Weeks ago, Ahmad Salkida, an independent journalist whose consistency in reporting objectively on the human crisis situation in the Northeast raised the alarm, following a report he published on the released 82 Chibok girls, that his life was under renewed threat. Continue reading
The Water Wars in Northeast Nigeria
Amsatu is in her mid – 20’s and has just gone into labour for her fourth child. News has begun to go round in the village in Yunusari Local Government Area. Amsatu’s husband was seen walking breathlessly to the scene of the delivery in the house with the prominent traditional birth attendant in the village. On hearing the arrival of newborn, the women began to take their empty water cans to embark on a walk to the neighbouring village to fetch water. Water would be the most precious article in Amsatu’s home and the women would trek the 11 kilometre distance to fetch water.
The biographer of “Muhammadu Buhari: The challenge of leadership in Nigeria,” Professor John Paden, revealed that the leadership of Boko Haram demanded 5 billion Euros as ransom for the release of the abducted girls, based on today’s exchange rate this comes to about 1.7 trillion Naira. Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information took it further in a recent press briefing. According to him, “on 4th August, 2015, the persons who were to be part of the swap arrangements and all others involved in the operation were transported to Maiduguri, Borno State. This team, with the lead facilitator, continued the contact with the group holding the Chibok girls… All things were in place for the swap, which was mutually agreed. Expectations were high. Unfortunately, after more than two weeks of negotiation and bargains, the group, just at the dying moments, issued new set of demands, never bargained for or discussed by the group before the movement to Maiduguri.”
I am Ahmad Salkida, a journalist by practice. I am a full blooded Nigerian from Borno state.
I hold an abiding commitment to Nigeria and have been doing my utmost best to contribute to her growth and development through my professional reporting.
Nigerian military threatens journalist for not revealing sources – CPJ
Abuja, Nigeria, August 18, 2016 — The Nigerian military should cease threatening freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida with prosecution for not acting as an informer, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The military has said the journalist could face terrorism charges if he does not provide it with information he gained in the course of his reporting on the militant group Boko Haram.
My attention has been drawn to a public notice put out by the Nigerian Army and signed by Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations. The statement declaring me wanted seeks culpable grounds to punish me on account of “last two videos released by Boko Haram terrorists and other findings…” by the Army.
Almost everyone agrees that the problems in Nigeria or failure to address problems is a consequence of the country’s failing institutions. Others argue that there are no institutions at all; if there are, they do not just function. The current band of lawmakers responsible for enacting laws cannot do away with ambiguities to strengthen institutions; if they do, many of them will have no role in government, going by their antecedents.
It is easier to get into a conflict than to come out of it, and every war has its consequences, whether for the aggressors or the victims. Certainly, nearly everyone that survives a war lives with painful memories of its devastation.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society in furtherance of its commitment to reach out to victims of the brutal conflict in North East, Nigeria, has entered into partnership with the British Red Cross to boost its operations in the country.