President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, why Nigeria opted for negotiation with the Boko Haram militants who abducted the Chibok girls and students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State.
The President said Nigeria prefers to have the abducted girls back alive.
He made the remark while receiving the U.S Secretary of State at Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said 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.”
The President promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country, adding that he would be in Yobe State, where Dapchi girls were abducted, later this week “as part of my condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events.”
He pledged free and fair polls in 2019, recalling that the then U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls “and told the party in government then and those of us in opposition to behave ourselves and we did.”
Tillerson 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.
The U.S Secretary of State said Nigeria was a very important country to America, stressing: “You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments and peaceful polls in 2019.”