Nigeria and the United States government are opting for negotiated release of the 110 school girls recently abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents from the Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC) Dapchi.
President Muhammadu Buhari while meeting with the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Monday, said his government “prefers to have schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok and Dapchi back alive,”
He disclosed that government has chosen negotiation, rather than military option, adding that Nigeria was working in concert with international organizations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors.
“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the President said.
Huge public outcry had greeted the abduction of the 110 girls who were moved from their school, on February 19, 2018
But speaking with Journalists after the meeting with President Buhari, Tillerson assured that the United States will support Nigeria by strengthening the capabilities and capacity of the Nigerian military as well as provision of equipment and 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.
The United States Secretary of State, however warned that Boko Haram remains a threat to countries in the region.
“But I think it is also important to put this in a broad regional context as well, Boko Haram is a threat to other region 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 organizations, there are other threats that the leadership of this country has to deal with.”
Speaking on the anti corruption war, he commended President Buhari on his strides in the anti-corruption war, to which the Nigerian leader responded that moneys recovered are being invested on development of infrastructure.
Mr Tillerson said Nigeria was a very important country to the U.S, stressing: “You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019.”
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
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Author: Tony Ailemen, Abuja