AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Thursday 31 December 2015
LAGOS: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said he had no new intelligence on some 200 schoolgirls kidnapped almost two years ago, and that his government would negotiate with any “credible” Boko Haram leadership for their release.
A total of 276 girls were taken from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014 by Boko Haram fighters, in a case that made global headlines.
Several dozen girls managed to escape soon afterwards, but nothing has been seen or heard from around 200 of them since a video released in May 2014.
“We are prepared to negotiate with them (Boko Haram’s leadership) without precondition,” Buhari said in his inaugural media chat broadcast on radio and television.
“We wanted to make contact but we insist on identifying the bonafide so-called Boko Haram leadership,” he said.
The president said he had no firm intelligence on where the girls were or the state of their health, adding: “That is the honest truth.”
Before any negotiations can begin “we are looking for a credible Boko Haram leadership that will confirm that the girls are alive,” Buhari added.
“We want to be sure that they (the girls) are complete, safe” before holding any talks, he added.