14 August 2016
The Nigerian Army on Sunday declared three persons, including a woman, wanted in connection with the over 200 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram since 2014.
They are Ahmed Salkida, Ambassador Ahmed U. Bolori and Aisha Wakil.
Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement that the wanted persons have information on the conditions and the exact location of the girls.
“The Nigerian Army hereby declares the two gentlemen and the lady wanted for interrogation.
“We are relying on the relevant laws of the land, and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended) where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists’ activities.
“This becomes necessary as a result of their link with the last two videos released by the Boko Haram terrorists and other findings of our preliminary investigations.
“There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram terrorists and have contacts with them.
“They must, therefore, come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok Girls and other abducted persons to enable us to rescue them,’’ Usman stated.
He called on all Nigerians and other peace-loving people to give useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects.
“We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they fail to turn up,’’ he stressed.
Reacting to the release of the video earlier, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government was doing everything possible to secure the release of the girls and put an end to the horrible saga of their abduction.
He said government was in touch with those purportedly behind the video.
“We are on top of the situation. But we are being extremely careful because the situation has been compounded by the split in the leadership of Boko Haram. We are also being guided by the need to ensure the safety of the girls.
“Since this is not the first time we have been contacted over the issue, we want to be doubly sure that those we are in touch with are who they claim to be,’’ the minister said.
He expressed the hope that the latest development would signal the beginning of the end of the nightmare to which the girls, their families and indeed all Nigerians have been subjected since the unfortunate abduction.
The video showed that some of the girls were killed in military air strikes and also showed one of the alleged victims pleading for authorities to release detained militants in exchange for the girls’ freedom.
It showed a girl, covered in a hijab with just her face showing, identified as one of the 276 students abducted from Chibok in April 2014.
In the video, she claims that some of her kidnapped classmates died in aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force. She also said that 40 had been “married” to Islamic extremist fighters.
It shows a fighter warning in the Hausa language that if President Muhammadu Buhari’s government battles Boko Haram with firepower, the girls won’t be seen again.
“If our members in detention are not freed, let the government and parents of the Chibok girls know that they will never find these girls again.”
The video, cited by the SITE Intelligence Group, was posted by Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist known to have good contacts in Boko Haram.
Salkida says he was given the video by the Boko Haram wing led by Abubakar Shekau, who is in a leadership battle with a lieutenant named by the Islamic State group as the new leader of what it calls its West Africa Province.
The government came under increased pressure from parents and the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners after the May escape of one young woman, a proof of life that they said should encourage the military and government to redouble efforts to rescue the girls. The escapee said some of the girls had died but scores remained in captivity and under heavy guard.
Sunday’s video appears another proof of life, though it was not immediately possible to reach any of the parents or Chibok leaders to verify the identity of those filmed.