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Buhari: We’re ready to negotiate with bonafide Boko Haram over Chibok girls

Buhari: We’re ready to negotiate with bonafide Boko Haram over Chibok girls
August 28
15:13 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not waste time and resources on doubtful intelligence claiming to know the location of the abducted Chibok girls.

On Thursday, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement had expressed disappointment with Buhari for saying that the government did not have “credible intelligence” on the location of the girls after one year in office.

“We are tired of hearing no credible intelligence, I can say that the president is not doing anything,” Aisha Yesufu, a leader of the movement, had said.

But taking to Twitter on Sunday, Buhari said his administration would not give up on the Chibok girls.


“I reiterated it in Nairobi, that we want our Chibok girls safe, we want them out. We’re doing all we can to reunite them with their families,” he said.

“What we will not do is waste time and resources on doubtful sources, who falsely claim to know the whereabouts of the Chibok girls.

“Our gallant troops in the Northeast have already rescued thousands of people. We will never give up on the Chibok girls.”


Also in a statement by Garba Shehu, spokesman to the president, quoted Buhari in an interview with journalists in Kenya to have said that his administration was ready to talk with the insurgents on the release of the girls.


‘‘I have made a couple of comments on the Chibok girls and it seems to me that much of it has been politicised,” Buhari said.

‘‘What we said is that the government, which I preside over, is prepared to talk to bonafide leaders of Boko Haram.


‘‘If they do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally-recognised Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know.

‘‘If they do it through the ‘modified leadership’ of Boko Haram and they talk with an internationally recognised NGO then Nigeria will be prepared to discuss for their release.


‘‘We want those girls out and safe. The faster we can recover them and hand them over to their parents, the better for us.’’

The president reiterated that the Boko Haram insurgents had been largely decimated with the support of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin.

‘‘Some of the information about the division in Boko Haram is already in the press and I have read in the papers about the conflict in their leadership.

‘‘The person known in Nigeria as their leader, we understand was edged out and the Nigerian members of Boko Haram started turning themselves to the Nigerian military.

‘‘We learnt that in an air strike by the Nigeria Air Force he was wounded. Indeed their top hierarchy and lower cadre have a problem and we know this because when we came into power, they were holding 14 out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria.

“But now they are not holding any territory and they have split to small groups attacking soft targets.”

Buhari also expressed federal government’s preparedness for dialogue with the Niger Delta militants in a bid to resolve all contending issues in the area.

“We do not believe that they (the militants) have announced ceasefire,” he said. “We are trying to understand them more. Who are their leaders and which areas do they operate and other relevant issues.”

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