President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria prefers to have schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok and Dapchi back alive.
He said that was why it has chosen negotiation rather than military option.
Receiving the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, at State House, Abuja on Monday, Buhari added 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.
He thanked America for assistance rendered in the fight against insurgency, noting that Nigerian forces are good, “but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment.”
Buhari promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country.
The nation’s leader added that he would be in Yobe State, from where Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted, later this week “as part of my condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events.”
President Buhari further pledged free and fair polls in 2019.
He recalled that the then American Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls, “and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did.”
In his remarks, Tillerson commended 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.
Tillerson said Nigeria was a very important country to the U.S.
“You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019.”
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