Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declared that NIGERIA would prefer to have the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram back alive through negotiations rather than adopt a military option.
Receiving the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in audience at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari said Nigeria was working in concert with international organisations 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.
A statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday said President Buhari thanked America for the 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, 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."
He also pledged a free and fair polls in 2019, recalling 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."
The visiting Secretary of State 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.
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."