President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is ready to negotiate with terror group, Boko Haram, if the talks will lead to the freedom of over 200 girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, who were kidnapped in the school over a year ago.
Boko Haram stormed the GSS, Chibok, on April 14, 2014, and abducted about 278 female students of the school, who were preparing for their final examinations. About 58 of the girls managed to escape at different times.
Buhari, who is rounding off a four-day official visit to the US, said this while speaking during an interview with Christine Amanpour on CNN on Tuesday from New York.
The President, who noted that people needed to be cautious about the credibility of various Boko Haram groups, however, declared that the government would embrace any process that would lead to the freedom of the girls.
“If we are convinced that we can have the girls, why not, we can negotiate. Our goal is to have the girls. We will ask them what they want and we can free the girls; return them to their school; unite them with their parents and rehabilitate them, so, they can live a normal life,” Buhari said.
The President, however, warned that the country needed to be cautious about the authenticity of claims of any group, calling for talks with the government.
“We have to be careful about the credibility of various Boko Haram groups. You need to be careful that you are talking to the right group,” he added.
He added that no one, not even in the ruling All Progressives Congress, who might have amassed wealth illegally, would be spared in his government’s anti-corruption crusade.
“It is not the issue of party member (APC). If you have stolen, no party member can escape justice,” the President said.
Buhari believed that it was too early for any one to pass a judgment on his performance in office, saying he could be held by his promises.
He said he would be delighted if his host, US President Barack Obama, could “change his mind” and visit Nigeria in his upcoming visit to Africa.