75-year-old Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari has finally accepted to negotiate with deadly terrorists, Boko Haram in exchange for the release of 110 schoolgirls abducted in Dapchi, Yobe State, Nigeria.
The presidency said the president made this known to US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson during his brief visit and meeting with the Nigerian President on Monday, March 12, 2018.
“Nigeria prefers to have schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok and Dapchi back alive, and that is why it has chosen negotiation, rather than a military option,” a statement issued by the president’s spokesman stated.
Buhari explained to Tillerson, how his government plans to negotiate for the release of 110 girls abducted from a school in the northeastern town in February 2018, rather than use a military operation to free them by force.
“President Buhari added that Nigeria was working in concert with international organizations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors,” the presidency statement said.
President Buhari met and discussed the use of negotiations during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in Nigeria for the last stop in a week-long tour of African countries.
The statement from the Presidency also said Buhari thanked the U.S. for assistance rendered in the fight against Boko Haram, noting that Nigerian forces are good but need assistance with training and equipment.
The 110 schoolgirls kidnap is one of the largest that has created a global buzz since the Boko Haram abducted more than 270 schoolgirls from the northeastern town of Chibok in 2014.
While some of the Chibok girls have been freed by the Nigerian government under the Buhari led administration after what security sources say were ransom payments, around 100 are still being held.
With at least two factions of the Boko Haram existing in Nigeria – going by narrations of some girls that have escaped from the terrorists – Nigeria is grappling with an insurgency that has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009.
Though Shekau, the popular leader of the group claims the kidnap of the Chibok girls, no one is certain about the faction behind the latest kidnap of the Dapchi schoolgirls on February 19, 2018.