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Nigeria ready to exchange Boko Haram detainees for Chibok girls – Buhari

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his country’s readiness to release Boko Haram leaders for the missing Chibok girls abducted in 2014.

On the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, Buhari told the media on Sunday that the government is ready to dialogue with the “bonafide” leaders of the terrorist group.

“If they do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognised Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention which they are supposed to know,” President Buhari’s official spokesperson Garba Shehu quoted him as saying.

He however stressed that they should do it through the “modified leadership” of the group warning against “doubtful sources” referring to the reported divisions in Boko Haram.


President Buhari welcomed the news about the Nigerian members of Boko Haram turning themselves in to the Nigerian military as well as Nigerian army’s airstrike that is believed to have injured leaders of the group including Abubakar Shekau.

“We want those girls out and safe. The faster we can recover them and hand them over to their parents, the better for us,” Buhari added.


The insurgent group in a recent video stated that a prisoner swap was the only way they would accept to release the remaining 219 Chibok girls who are still in their custody.

Pressure has been mounting on the Nigerian government to act swiftly in the search for the school girls who were abducted in 2014 after a raid of their school dormitories by Boko Haram in Chibok while they were sleeping at night.

A series of protests were held in August by the Bring Back Our Girls activists demanding a response from the government to the recent video from the terrorist group.

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