We are negotiating release of Chibok girls — Buhari

FILE PHOTO: A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing. AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM
FILE PHOTO: A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing. AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said his administration was continuing negotiation for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls.

Over 200 school girls were abducted by the insurgent group, Boko Haram, from their school hostel in Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state in April 2014.

The abduction and the subsequent threat by the leadership of the terrorist group that the girls were being “sold off” and “married off” drew international attention and condemnation.

One of the girls, Amina Nkeki, was recently found in a village near Sambisa forest with a four-month old baby.

Ms. Nkeki was said to have been forcefully “married” to a Boko Haram fighter, who authorities said was taken into military custody.

Two days after the return of Ms. Nkeki, Nigerian military authorities announced the rescue of another Chibok girl, Sarah Luka. But #BringBackOurGirls activists debunked the claim, saying Ms. Luka was not among the school girls abducted in Chibok.

Mr. Buhari in a speech to mark Democracy Day on Sunday said during the last one year of his administration, “not a single day passed without my agonizing about these girls”.

He said his governments’ efforts have centred around “negotiations to free them safely from their mindless captors”, adding, ” we are still pursuing that course”.

Mr. Buhari said the safety of the girls was of paramount concern to him and to many Nigerians.

“I am very worried about the conditions those still captured might be in.

“Today I re-affirm our commitment to rescuing our girls. We will never stop until we bring them home safely.

“As I said before, no girl should be put through the brutality of forced marriage and every Nigerian girl has the right to an education and a life choice,” the president said.



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