President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday in Washington that the leaders of Boko Haram could help the Nigerian Government reclaim the abducted Chibok girls through negotiations.
Mr. Buhari, however, said that the government would have to establish who the real leaders of the sect were before it could enter into negotiations with the group.
The President, who was answering questions from Nigerians in the diaspora in Washington, described the situation as “very sensitive” and said that the government would need to find out the condition the girls were, in view of reports that some of them had been “sold and married off”.
“There are people who are claiming to be leaders of Boko Haram. They will help us to recover the Chibok girls.
“But this is a very sensitive situation. Firstly, government has to establish that those claiming to be leaders of Boko Haram are indeed the leaders of Boko Haram. How do we do it – it is quite difficult.
“In what conditions are they? Are they alive? Have they been kept as students? – because they are between the ages of 14 and 18.
“They are 220 (in number) and they have been in captivity for 18 months. There are rumours that some of them have been sold and married off.
“There are rumours that the leadership of Boko Haram had married some of them and they have already had children with them.
“But, the objective of the Federal Government is clear.
“We want them back alive, so that we can return them to their parents; rehabilitate them psychologically and if possible facilitate their continuing education. This is the objective of the Federal Government.
“And if we can get a confirmed Boko Haram leadership, we will negotiate with them.”
The President said the sect is plotting to exchange some of their leaders currently being held by the government in different security prisons in the country.
He said the government was working closely with the neighbouring countries of Cameroun, Chad, and Niger toward securing the release of the girls.
He applauded the Nigeria Police for their efforts at checking violent crimes such as robbery and kidnapping and praised the Anambra government for demolishing the properties of anyone found to be involved in the kidnap of innocent citizens.
The President earlier met with a group of young professionals in the United States at the same venue and assured them of his government’s resolve to fight corruption, remain steadfast, and invest heavily in education.
According to him, education is the panacea to poverty and ignorance among the youth.
The youth in their huge numbers took turns to express their best wishes for the President and the country.