Buhari confirms negotiation with Boko Haram for rescue of abducted schoolgirls

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari-- Guardian Nigeria

Secretary Tillerson met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on March 12 in Abuja to strengthen the US partnership with Nigeria.

Mr Tillerson, a former chief executive of ExxonMobil, was only appointed to the job just over a year ago.

President Muhammadu Buhari says 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 military option.

He was initially slated to spend the night in the Nigerian capital but his visit was cut short, owing to what his spokesman said were pressing engagements in Washington D.C.

Tillerson was in Nigeria for the last stop in a week-long tour of African countries, his first trip to the continent as Secretary of State, during which he has emphasized security partnerships. "We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019", the statement quoted Tillerson as saying.

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.

"The United States is very much engaged in the coordinated effort (of the Combined Multinational Force), both in equipment and training and in advice and information".

Buhari and Tillerson having a discussion at the Presidential Villa in Abuja — NAN
Buhari and Tillerson having a discussion at the Presidential Villa in Abuja — NAN

"We are trying to be careful".

The April 2014 audacious abduction of the Chibok girls sparked global outrage and attracted attention to the Boko Haram insurgency. We hope that something can be developed to release these girls quickly.

According to the top USA diplomat, the American government is creating other alternative financing mechanisms that are available for African nations, saying "we are developing mechanism that will also create alternative opportunities financing offer".

The statement said Tillerson, for his part, commended Buhari on his determined anti-bribery and corruption campaign, with the Nigerian leader saying that money recovered was being invested in developing infrastructure.

"Fighting terrorism is a new challenge globally. So as a conventional military threat, Boko Haram has been completely degraded".

He said, "With regards to the kidnapped girls in Dapchi, it is incorrect to say we took a week to acknowledge".

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