President Muhammadu Buhari has invited the United Nations to midwife negotiations between his government and Boko Haram for the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls. Buhari told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during bilateral talks held on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.
A statement by Femi Adesina, Buhari’s special adviser on media and publicity, quoted the president that “The challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with”.
“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in,” the statement added.
President Buhari explained to Ki-Moon that the insurgents’ cruelty fell short of Islamic teachings.
“The fact that they kill men, women, children, and other people wantonly, and shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) shows that they do not know that Allah at all. If they did, they would not shed innocent blood”.
Responding, Ki-Moon hailed Buhari’s anti-corruption war. “You are highly respected by world leaders, including myself. Your persona has given your country a positive image.”
Adesina’s statement says Ki-Moon told Buhari that the UN recognized his administration’s anti-terror war, but urged him to ensure respect for ‘human rights and prevent a repeat of the scenario being witnessed in Syria.’