PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is willing to involve negotiators from the United Nations in the swapping of Chibok schoolgirls with Boko Haram insurgents. Buhari told Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the UN, that Nigeria would welcome intermediaries from the global body as part of his administration’s commitment to swap the abducted schoolgirls with Boko Haram suspects in custody of the government.
At the bilateral meeting with the UN scribe on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York, Buhari said the Nigerian government was willing to bend over backwards, to get the Chibok girls released from captivity. He said, “The challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with,”
“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits to step in.”
He thanked the UN scribe for the moral and material support given to Nigeria, which has enabled the country surmount many of the challenges facing it.
Responding, the UN secretary general congratulated Buhari on the anti-corruption war, declaring, “You are highly respected by world leaders, including myself. Your persona has given your country a positive image.”
The president, in a statement by Femi Adesina, special adviser on Media and Publicity, also reiterated that the teachings of Boko Haram were far from being Islamic, as neither Islam, nor any other religion, advocates hurting the weak and innocent.
“The fact that they kill men, women, children, and other people wantonly, and shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) shows that they do not know that Allah at all. If they did, they would not shed innocent blood,” President Buhari said.
— Oct 3, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT