Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian journalist known to have connections to the terrorist group Boko Haram, has today said that the Nigerian government is withholding information from the public regarding the cease-fire deal it claims to have reached with the terrorist sect.
From his Twitter handle @ContactSalkida, Salkida states that recent investigation into the agreement show that nothing has been done concretely to ensure safety in Nigeria’s northeast. “My journalistic investigations on ‘negotiations’ (based on snapshots and several accounts I just received from sources), suggest and indeed clearly point in different direction from what the FG is insisting,” Salkida tweeted Monday afternoon.
Acknowledging the role that “politics, ego, and rivalry” have generally held in situations like this, Salkida further goes on to condemn the gross misinformation being put forward by the Nigerian federal government, especially concerning the release of the Chibok schoolgirls, kidnapped in April. The Nigerian federal government recently assured the public that the cease-fire deal would ensure safe return of the girls, nearly 200 days since their abduction.
“Since what we are dealing with has to do with human lives and livelihoods, let us get this right for once,” he tweeted. “The girls and many other captives, according to decade-long sources ‘have not been moved an inch and no talks [are] ongoing.’”
Salkida’s allegations follow a string of reports since the cease-fire deal was reportedly reached on October 18. Incidents of kidnapping and violence have been reported since that date. Today it was reported that at least 30 persons were kidnapped in Borno State over the weekend.
Also significant was the denial that captives have been raped by Boko Haram, according to some of the group’s members that spoke with Salkida. This follows a Human Rights Watch report, released today in London, and titled “Those Terrible Weeks in Their Camp’: Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in Northeast Nigeria”, which announced that women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been forced to endure rape and sexual abuse in captivity. The report is based on the testimony of 46 witnesses and victims of abductions in Brono, Yobe, and Adamawa States.
“In addition to speaking to women and girls who had been abducted, Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed social workers, members of Nigerian and international nongovernmental organizations, diplomats, journalists, religious leaders, and state and federal government officials,” Human Rights Watch said.
In what appears to be a response to this report, Salkida claims that Boko Haram leaders deny that any sexual assault occurred, saying: “Boko Haram leadership insist people will say whatever they like but whoever rapes even an enemy will be punished as prescribed in Islam.”
Salkida’s statements further promise that Boko Haram sources have told him that their leader will release a video in the coming week, which will “address questions” that have been raised regarding the truce agreement.