BUHARI TELLS TILLERSON NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY TO SECURE RELEASE OF KIDNAPPED SCHOOLGIRLS
Last Updated: 2018-03-13
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ABUJA, March 13 (NNN-NAN) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has told the visiting United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, that negotiations are underway, in concert with international organizations, to secure the release of hundreds of schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram terrorists.

On Feb 19, 110 schoolgirls were captured by Boko Haram in Dapchi in northern Yobe State. In April 2014, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Borno State in the far northeast.

President Buhari said Nigeria prefers to have the schoolgirls back alive, and that is why it has chosen negotiations rather than a military option. “We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the President said.

He thanked the US for assistance rendered in the fight against insurgency, noting that Nigerian forces are good, “but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment”.

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

The President also pledged free and fair polls in 2019, recalling that former Secretary of State John Kerry had visited Nigeria before the 2015 polls, “and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did”.

Tillerson commended President Buhari on his strides in the anti-corruption war, to which the Nigerian leader responded that monies recovered are being invested on development of infrastructure.

illerson said Nigeria was a very important country to the US stressing: “You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019.” -- NNN-NAN