Buhari Invites UN Negotiators For Chibok Girls/Boko Haram Swap

President Muhammadu Buhari and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon
President Muhammadu Buhari and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, that Nigeria will welcome intermediaries from the global body in swapping the over 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls with Boko Haram prisoners.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, Presidential Spokesman on Thursday, Buhari was quoted to have made this request during a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe at the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.

He said this was a show of Buhari’s administration’s commitment to swapping the abducted schoolgirls from Chibok with Boko Haram fighters in custody.

President Buhari said the Nigerian government was willing to bend over backwards in order to get the Chibok girls released from captivity.

“The challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with,” the President said, adding that, “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 stated.

Buhari 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,” the president said.

Buhari thanked Ban Ki-moon for the moral and material support given to Nigeria which, he acknowledged, had enabled the country surmount many of the challenges facing her.

Responding, the UN Secretary General congratulated Buhari on the anti-corruption war.



    Ki-Moon declared: “You are highly respected by world leaders, including myself. Your persona has given your country a positive image.”

    The United Nations’ scribe stated that the the global body recognised President Buhari’s government’s achievements against the Boko Haram insurgents.

    He, however, urged that human rights be upheld always in order to prevent a repeat of the scenario being witnessed in Syria.

    Ki-moon also thanked the Nigerian leader for his commitment to issues on climate change, adding that the government should “own the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” for the good of its citizens.

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