Nige­rian jour­nal­ist wanted over Chi­bok girls — army

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LA­GOS — Nige­ria’s army has de­clared three peo­ple, in­clud­ing a jour­nal­ist, wanted for al­legedly con­ceal­ing in­for­ma­tion on more than 200 girls ab­ducted from their school in Chi­bok in April 2014, a spokesper­son said yes­ter­day.

Colonel Sani Us­man told AFP that lo­cal jour­nal­ist Ah­mad Salkida had been in con­tact with the Is­lamists, as had Ahmed Bolori and Aisha Wakil.

“There is no doubt that these in­di­vid­u­als have links with Boko Haram ter­ror­ists and have contacts with them,” he said.

“They must there­fore come for­ward and tell us where the group is keep­ing the Chi­bok girls and other ab­ducted per­sons to en­able us res­cue them.”

Us­man said the mil­i­tary would work with other se­cu­rity agen­cies to bring in the sus­pects “if they fail to turn up”.

He added that au­thor­i­ties also want to talk to the sus­pects over a re­cent video re­leased by Boko Haram on the girls.

Salkida is said to have high-level contacts among the group’s lead­ers and is be­lieved to have been in­volved in failed talks be­tween Boko Haram and the gov­ern­ment of for­mer pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan.

On Sun­day, Boko Haram re­leased a video of the Chi­bok girls, show­ing some who are still alive and claim­ing that oth­ers died in air strikes.

The video was the lat­est re­lease from Boko Haram’s em­bat­tled leader Abubakar Shekau, who this month de­nied claims that he has been re­placed as the leader of the ji­hadist group.

The video de­manded the re­lease of Boko Haram fight­ers held by the Gov­ern­ment in ex­change for the kid­napped school­girls. The Gov­ern­ment said it was study­ing the footage.

The mass kid­nap­ping of the school­girls from the town of Chi­bok pro­voked global out­rage and brought un­prece­dented at­ten­tion to Boko Haram and its bloody quest to cre­ate an Is­lamic state in Nige­ria’s main­lyMus­lim north.

Through­out last year the mil­i­tary an­nounced the res­cue of hun­dreds of peo­ple, most of them women and chil­dren, who have been kid­napped by the Is­lamists.

But the miss­ing school­girls were not among them, de­spite sev­eral un­con­firmed sight­ings.

Boko Haram’s seven-year in­sur­gency has left some 20 000 peo­ple dead and forced at least 2.6 mil­lion oth­ers to flee their homes. — AFP

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