The Nigerian army has said that a journalist and two others are wanted for questioning after the armed group Boko Haram released a new video purporting to show the schoolgirls it kidnapped more than two years ago.
The army says it said it wanted to question Ahmed Salkida and two other persons, Ahmed U Bolori and Aisha Wakil, because of their alleged link with Boko Haram.
NIGERIAN ARMY DECLARES AHMED SALKIDA (AMBASSADOR) AHMED U BOLORI AND AISHA WAKIL WANTEDhttps://t.co/cGkH2ptoHa
— Nigerian Army (@HQNigerianArmy) August 14, 2016
Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the acting director of army public relations, said in a press statement issued on Sunday: “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 rescue them.”
Hours before Boko Haram released the video purporting to show the abducted Chibok girls, Salkida said he had seen the footage that he claimed was “exclusively” sent to him by the fighters.
— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) August 13, 2016
Wakil, a lawyer, was in contact with the Nigerian government during the 2013 amnesty negotiations with Boko Haram fighters, Premium Times Nigeria reported.
Bolori is known as coordinator of the Faash Foundation and the Partnership Against Violent Extremism (PAVE).
He lives in Maiduguri, Boko Haram’s birthplace.
The kidnapping of the Chibok girls has become a hot political issue in Nigeria, with the government and military criticised for their handling of the incident and their failure to rescue any of the girls.
About 2,000 girls and boys have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014, with many used as sex slaves, fighters and even suicide bombers, according to Amnesty International, the London-based human-rights organisation.
In recent months, Boko Haram has increasingly used suicide and bomb attacks as the Nigerian military pushes the group out of territories they once controlled.
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared Boko Haram “technically” defeated, and said success in the campaign would be measured by the return of the Chibok girls and other abductees.
“There have been a lot of incursions from reports that we have seen, of our military making incursions successfully into areas hitherto held by the insurgents,” Mike Omeri, former head of the government’s Nigerian Information Centre, told Al Jazeera on Sunday.
“In addition to that, a number of other strategies that may not necessarily be on the pages of newspapers, have been undertaken.”