We Are Working With International Bodies To Free Abducted School Girls – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assured that Nigeria was working in concert with international organisations and negotiators to ensure that both Dapchi girls and remaining Chibok girls were released unharmed by their captors.

He also said the Federal Government usually settles for negotiations with the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the interest of the safety of abductees.

A move, United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who came to Nigeria on a one day visit, backed fully.

Both Buhari and Tillerson met briefly at the Presidential Villa on Monday, where they talked on wide range of issues bordering on security, economic ties, among others.

According to Buhari, having weighed the options available to the Nigerian government, it came to the realisation that full military option would compromise the safety of abductees.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the president said.

Tillerson, while addressing State House reporters, had acknowledged that the threats posed by Boko Haram insurgents were not peculiar to Nigeria but the global community.

He said the recent abduction of 110 girls from Dapchi, Yobe State, though condemnable, a deal could be brokered to set them free.

According to the US Secretary of State, America was more than willing to offer assistance to secure their release, especially in the areas of man-power training, intelligence gathering and sales of weaponry to tame terrorism.

Buhari had also lauded assistance by the American government in tackling the fight against insurgency, noting that Nigerian forces are good, “but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment.”

The president also promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country, adding that he would be in Yobe State, from where Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted, later this week “as part of a condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events”.

On preparations for the 2019 general elections, the president pledged that there will be free and fair polls come next year.

He recalled that the then American Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls, “and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did”.

On specific ways the American government would assist Nigeria combat terrorism, Tillerson said, “First, we respect the responsibilities of the government of Nigeria and the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“But the way we support is in providing them capability capacity with equipment and also training of the personnel of special operations and sharing intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available to carry out the recovery effort.

“But I think it is also important to put this in a broad regional context as well. Boko Haram is a threat to other regions and this has been the subject of my meetings elsewhere and in Africa as well. In my discussion with President Derby in Chad earlier today, we spoke about the threat of Boko Haram and I think it is important and it’s really been powerful, the collaboration between the joint task force which Nigeria is a part and Chad is a part, to respond to this threat of terrorism which Boko Haram is one of the organisations, there are other threats that the leadership of this country has to deal with.

“So the United States is ready to engage and coordinate efforts as well. But we have been supporting, equipping, training and when we can provide information. I think that is the best way we have been helping the government of Nigeria secure the release of the girls, which we hope, will be done in a peaceful manner.

“We hope that something can be worked out and they can secure the release of these girls quickly”.

The US scribe also acknowledged Buhari’s exploits in tackling corruption, saying the development recently culminated in his nomination as the African Union ambassador on anti-corruption.

Excited, Buhari responded by saying moneys recovered from corrupt vices are being invested on development of infrastructure.

 

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