Link With Boko Haram: Nigerian Journalist, Two Others Wanted

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 spokesman said Monday.

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 to 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 mainly-Muslim 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.

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