Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Threats, smear campaigns won’t stop my professional reporting – Ahmad Salkida

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A renowned investigative journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the HumAngle Media, Ahmed Salkida, has restated his commitment towards professional journalism, despite threats and smear campaigns against his person.

Mr Salkida made this known in a statement on Friday while reacting to reports by who he described as paid hacks operating under different spurious banners and using a few sloppy media platforms.

He said: “On October 3, 2020, a platform, GCFR NG, seemingly a parody effort out to benefit from the time-honoured national honour rank, ran a misfit of a story, “Beware of Boko Haram agent, Ahmad Salkida-CAFA warns Nigerians”.

“The said report was derived from a random statement by a group that goes by the name, Citizens Against Fake Activists, (CAFA).

“One Comrade Richard Adie reportedly signed the statement. The group’s name is, however, not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.

READ ALSO:   'Head of Benue killer vigilante, Tashaku, is escapee Boko Haram member'

“It does not have any physical address or functional website and has no tangible physical or digital footprints whatsoever.

“The names associated with it are shadowy, bearing imaginary ghost emblems. The whole drama is so ghostly that it paid for a hotel hall for a press conference without leaving an address or phone number.”

Continuing, he said: “The same day, Blueprint, a local newspaper, ran an opinion, “Ahmed Salkida and his broken video on the Nigerian military,” whose author is a subject of a self embarrassing pointer to the hatchet job.

“At the end of the piece, the byline states that “Obi is a security expert and wrote from Idumota, Lagos” even though the author’s name was earlier declared as Subomi Adejare.

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“Instructively, only two other publications online have the name of the “security expert” on them, both coincidentally and heavily praising the current administration.”

According to him, “On October 7, another faceless group, International Human Rights Protection Forum, (IHRPF), cast in similar anonymity as the first and calling itself public interest lawyers.

“They released a statement reportedly addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to media houses.

“As in the first, this group would want the government to classify Salkida as a terrorist and prosecute him.”

Mr Salkida, however, alleged that these reports were backlashes of an investigative report he published recently which “amplified the voices of women in Borno State whose husbands were ostensibly framed up, detained, tortured and in some cases disappeared by state actors while converting the women into sex slaves”.

READ ALSO:   'Head of Benue killer vigilante, Tashaku, is escapee Boko Haram member'

The publisher, therefore, restated his commitment to making his contribution to making Nigeria a better place for all, through the instrumentality of news reporting.

He said: “I have personally been under repeated threats. I once fled this country with my family on account of the threats to my life. While out in exile, the Nigerian Army declared me a wanted man. I took a flight and presented myself. They had nothing on me.

“I will restate that I’m a journalist, and I am committed to making my contribution to making Nigeria a better place for all. I do this professionally through the instrumentality of news reporting.”

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