President Muhammadu Buhari has said he was not ready to talk about the release of Chibok schoolgirls again, until the genuine leaders of Boko Haram come forward to prove the girls are in their custody.
The president, who stated this in an interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America during his recent visit to the United States of America, said, government will not negotiate to have the girls in piecemeal.
“You should not forget that Boko Haram has killed at least 20,000 Nigerians. Chibok girls are about 230 or 220. There are some people who are calling on the government to negotiate with the captors of these girls.
“I have addressed this issue three times, and I have no intention of doing anything again until they come out to identify themselves as leaders of Boko Haram, and that they are the ones holding these girls,” he said.
Buhari maintained that for the government to consider dialogue with the terrorist group on the realise of the girls, the group should also “give location of the girls and the condition of their health, which can also be verified. This is when negotiation can take place.
“It is not feasible where one person will come out today to say he can free three of them and tomorrow another person comes forward to say he will bring out five. It is 220 that we want to see. What is their condition? We can then agree to discuss and have the girls; reunite them with their families and have them back in school.”
On the militancy in the Niger Delta region, the president said it is the militants that have the choice of whether to accept peace; else, the government will deal with them.
The president also identified judicial due process as a hindrance delaying the success of his administration’s anti-corruption agenda, saying, however, that a lot has been achieved in the area of recovery of stolen funds.
“The present circumstances completely differ with that of 1984. At that time, we rounded up all those suspected of plundering government’s money and took them to Kirikiri (prison), but now we have to carry out investigation and gather evidence to adduce before the court. This is what is delaying us.
“However, we have recovered a lot of money both in Naira and foreign currencies as well as buildings built with funds diverted from financing government projects,” he said.
The president, however, said his administration’s agenda of diversification by improving agriculture, has already started paying off.
He also urged Nigerians to ask questions on how monies earned from sales of crude oil from 1999 to 2015, were spent by successive governments, arguing that there was nothing to show for