President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his government will only negotiate with Boko Haram terrorists when their ‘true leaders come out and identify with his government.’
This disclosure was made during an interview granted to VOA last week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Buhari said: “I gave directives on three different occasions and I am not ready to go beyond this unless the leaders of Boko Haram come out in the open and say that they are leaders of Boko Haram.”
“Then I will be ready to talk to them but not [to] somebody coming to tell me that they are bringing one person or two people today and that they are leaders of Boko Haram.”
His statement is coming on the heels of a leadership tussle between the long-time yet ousted leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau and the former spokesman, Abu Musab al-Barnawi – the Islamic State approved ‘numero uno’.
Buhari also said the frustration over the inability to liberate the Chibok girls needs to be put in perspective, adding that his government would ensure that the schoolgirls are reunited with their parents and then returned to school.
On the Niger Delta Avengers, the president stated that his government will negotiate with them if they are open to it, but cautioned that he is fully prepared to continue the military campaign to its conclusion.
Buhari further griped that the militants in the Niger Delta region were not only causing security issues but also hindering economic and development progress in the country.
He, however, said: “If they are not ready for compromise, so be it. We are ready for them.”
On the ongoing problem of corruption of Nigeria, he said:
“We have to investigate, confirm before arresting people.”
“We have to observe or follow due process before we prosecute them. This is what is wasting our time. Irrespective of this problem, we were able to recover a lot of money both in Nigerian currency and foreign currency.”