President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, September 16, applied to Boko Haram insurgents holding the Chibok girls in captivity.
The Nigerian leader made an indirect address when he spoke with AFP on the last day of his visit to France. As the government considers the ways of rescuing the children, Buhari broke they could offer amnesty if the sect handed over all the Chibok abductees. But girls’ release should come first, he insisted.
“The few (prisoners) we are holding, we are trying to see whether we can negotiate with them for the release of the Chibok girls.
“If the Boko Haram leadership eventually agrees to turn over the Chibok girls to us – the complete number – then we may decide to give them (the prisoners) amnesty.”
President Buhari also stressed it was important to verify the genuineness of Boko Haram leaders identity:
“We are trying to establish if they are bona fide, how useful they are in Boko Haram, have they reached a position of leadership where their absence is of relevance to the operation of Boko Haram?”
The Nigerian number one politicians expressed confidence that “conventional” attacks by the terrorist group would be rooted out by November.
“The main conventional attacks, where Boko Haram use armoured cars they took from the Nigerian troops, or mounted machine-guns on pick-up vehicles and so on, we believe by the end of the three months, we will see the end of that.
“What may not absolutely stop is the occasional bombings by the use of improvised explosive devices. We do not expect a 100 per cent stoppage of the insurgency.”
It should be recalled that on Tuesday President Buhari disclosed in France that the negotiations were ongoing with Boko Haram leaders regarding the release of the Chibok girls.
He continued that the sect wanted the Nigerian government to release one of its strategic leaders, which term Buhari, however, rejected.