Ahmad Salkida Profile picture
Jun 24, 2018 14 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Growing up as a child between #Biu and #Maiduguri in the 80's and 90's left me with vivid memories. There were clear memories of affinity, of love, of trust, of sharing and good neighbourliness. #Maiduguri, to me, is the only place I want to retire to.

Today, the epitaph - home of peace, mock the state, its citizenry and govt. A crisis we all saw coming and I, in particular, wrote articles and reports in the New Sentinel and the Daily Trust, alerting the state of an impending threat to law and order, long before it occurred.
The official lines, then, was, the crisis "would fizzle out soon." Today, officials are pushing the same narrative. This is the wish of every well meaning citizen, but wishes are not horses. The evidence in Borno, especially rural areas, contrast sharply with official lines.
To associate #Bornostate in general, with economic or social life today, is to engage in an ugly, nauseating joke. When I say #Borno, I am not referring to #Maiduguri alone, as many do. Normalcy in #Maiduguri cannot be applied to judge the rest of the state.
Last week alone, #ISWAP were seen moving in 11 gun trucks. IEDs, suicide vests and those eager to wear them are not in short supply. We only hear of hostages when the insurgents, and not the state, wish to let us know abt them. The latest #Eidprayer video by #Shekau is telling.
In fact, the insurgents are still in their thousands and they are still clinging to their beliefs and anyone that threatens their crusades "must be killed and not spared." Our state is yet to engage this doctrine with doctrines, so far we've only engaged their arms with our arms.
We are just focusing on taking away their guns and less concerned about their motivations for violence because we are all angry and hurt to engage their ideology, which is the fuse. Anything other than a political resolution, is a waste of time and resources, says our leaders.
One of the biggest mistake of this conflict is, we all think that, a #BokoHaram member or a #Jihadist is the person that carries a gun. Many of the support systems or members of this sect had never held a gun or committed a crime in the first place.
It is unlikely to win a war with guns, where only the minority in the group you are at war with bear guns. There must be equal or more investments in the non military components of this crisis to be able to curtail it, both in the short and long term. This is lacking.
There is no shame in changing approaches if it is failing. Political and security leaders must not cherry pick solutions that only advance pecuniary interests. The way out of this crisis may be the unsavoury route, but this is not an excuse not to follow that route.
In the #LakeChad region, #jihadis, #ISWAP in particular, as unpleasant as this may sound, are witnessing a 'rebound' that outweighs the 'schisms' within their ranks. Even the lame dock faction has seen hundreds returning, after deserting. This is an absurd dynamic, but true.
There are those that still see reasons to stay in an #Jihadi controlled territory or choose to move there. It is like a person, willing to remain in an abusive relationship. This is why it's important to fully identify the conflict indicators and begin to address them squarely.
The biggest problem we have as humans is, we want others to see the world in our own perspectives. I interviewed a #BokoHaram deserter recently, he was afraid to go home and couldn't pay rent or buy food. He accepted a BH 'amnesty' to return, where, he will not pay for rent/food.
We must view things from this person's perspective to be able to engage him. I have kept up my professional access to the #jihadis, despite being critical, because I seem to understand their 'language.' Those prosecuting the war in the #LakeChad must learn from this.

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More from @A_Salkida

Sep 12, 2018
This is not a capture. Nearly every village or town ISWAP attacked has a military facility. Meanwhile, as attention has shifted to #ISWAP, #Bokoharam may recuperate, this was how ISWAP became what they are and the factions have given up killing themselves. Read between the lines.
The insurgents no longer have the resources to capture and hold new territories. They are more secure in the limited areas they held and maintained from start. They are using the raining season to build up arms before the dry season, when air and ground troops are hard-hitting.
The insurgents have no doubt embraced the global jihad movements and are now regarded as important players, with growing ties, but the war strategy is local, to confront it requires street knowledge, which internationals don't know about and the govt seems to ignore at its peril.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 1, 2018
There is a silent emergency on a long standing human rights violations and abuse in Northeast #Nigeria, where, even security officials estimated the number of those detained or executed for the crime of guilt by association to over THREE THOUSAND in the past 8 to 9 years.
Hundreds of young men and some women were picked up after a suspected terrorist calls them even once. It doesn't matter what the call is all about or who the caller is to the recipient. The implication can be dreadful to those involved and their families.
Idris Ali was arrested by the DSS in 2013 and remained in custody till date. His 'crime,' a childhood friend of his, got his number and placed a call to him, and because the caller was being trailed by officials, Ali and brother were arrested remained in custody since then.
Read 19 tweets
Jul 10, 2018
In January I published an article on the militia in Benue state, where I publicly profiled one of the militia leaders, Aliyu Tashaku. The insights I provided changed the narrative to an extent & mounted pressure on the Governor, leading to arrests. salkida.com/the-nigerian-k…

The report that Benue is host to self-help militias, where a self-confessed member of BH; Tashaku, was recognised by the state as a leader of a vigilante group that hacked and killed scores, under the guise of protecting the people of the state against armed Fulani herdsmen.
I did not seek the approval of anyone or security agencies to write that report, I'm not an employee of any security agency, I'm a journalist. My report is targeted at helping ordinary pple in the streets and those handling the problem or shaping policy, to accurate information.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 5, 2018
Whether we like it or not, the so-called R-APC can't be discounted. They are part of the system and if we see realignments of parties like in 2014, they may win and Nigeria will, once again, be set back decades behind any serious country. I am not happy, just stating the fact.
Again, there is nothing like a single northern bloc, the minorities in N/Nigeria had suffered enough. And this time round, there is growing interest for ppl to get PVC and vote out a govt, they feel does not only marginalized them, but has shown zero interest in their well-being.
Another thing that may play into the hands of the opposition is, military campaigns against #BH is reduced to more than 70% in the raining season and there has been a steady surge in attacks in Dec. Jan. Feb. in the last four yrs. This season, coincides with campaigns elections?
Read 4 tweets
Jun 25, 2018
Will the Nigerian government do the right thing to either release #JonesAbiri unconditionally or charge him to court TODAY? Two years in detention without trial is a travesty of democracy, that's if #Nigeria is still a democracy?
Our silence is the ONLY reason why Nigerian leaders feel they can do whatever they want, even if it is against the law. Today, it is #JonesAbiri, tomorrow it can be you, or me again? The #Nigerianmedia must come out of its shell and speak against this abuse of power.
#JonesAbiri is detained for II yrs without trial, yet the @NGRPresident & his lieutenants had the audacity to attend #IPIWoCo ceremony, claiming they encouraged liberal media? There is no crime that warrants a person to be confined for II yrs without trial. #FreeJonesAbiri now.
Read 4 tweets
Jun 22, 2018
If there is anything that is clear is, how this government has failed the test of adhering to the rule of law. The current government holds a record number of contempt of court that is unmatched by any administration since 1999. #Nigeria
In 1999 I was 24, I'm mindful of political events since then. I'v never experienced this level of impunity by the state, and citizens have now resorted to 'self help' bcz no confidence in the justice system. Leaders disregard the same laws they want ordinary citizens to abide by.
The citizens that were rounded up, arrested and detained in the northeast alone are in their thousands, not hundreds, majority were NEVER taken to court, hundreds were either summarily executed or died in detention. No one cared because they are mostly poor villagers.
Read 5 tweets

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