16th September, 2015
President Muhammadu Buhari told members of the Nigerian community in France under the aegis Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation that his administration is negotiating with insurgent group Boko Haram for the release of the over 200 school girls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State.
The Chibok school girls were abducted from their school while preparing for the senior school leaving certificate examinations, over a year ago on 14, April, 2015.
While responding to questions from members of the Nigerian community, the President said the continued stay of the girls in the hands of their captors was worrisome.
“Let them bring all the girls and then, we will be prepared to negotiate, I will allow them to come back to Nigeria or to be absolved in the community. We have to be very careful, the concern we have for the Chibok girls, one only imagine if they got a daughter there between 14 and 18 and for more than one and a half year, a lot of the parents who have died would rather see the graves of their daughters rather the condition they imagine they are in. This has drawn a lot of sympathy though out the world, that is why this government is getting very hard in negotiating and getting the balance of those who are alive,” said Buhari
The President added that the government has to first establish the genuineness of members of the sect putting themselves forward for negotiations to avoid the mistake of engaging the wrong persons.
Also, the President said his administration will not cede to one of the conditions given by the group which was to release one of its members who has been strategic in the building of Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs), a demand that government will not cede to.
“They wanted us to release one of their leaders who is a strategic person in developing and making Improvised IEDs that is causing a lot of havoc in the country by blowing people in Churches, Mosque, market places, motor parks and other places. But is very important that if we are going to talk to any body, we have to know how much he is worth.
The President added that Boko Haram had to release all the girls, then government can negotiate, and subsequently integrate them back into the society. “We have to be very careful” he said, adding that, “This has drawn a lot of sympathy though out the world, that is why this government is getting very hard in negotiating to get the balance of those who are alive.”