Nigerian leader asks UN to help free abducted Chibok Girls

2016-09-22 15:01
Video grab image taken from a video released on Youtube purportedly by Islamist group Boko Haram. (File: AFP)

Video grab image taken from a video released on Youtube purportedly by Islamist group Boko Haram. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari has invited the United Nations to help negotiations to swap the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok for detained leaders of Boko Haram, a government statement said on Thursday.

Buhari's government has been criticised for failing to free the Chibok girls by parents of the abducted students, community leaders and human rights activists. Boko Haram has kidnapped thousands of people but the mass abduction of 276 schoolgirls in April 2014 incited outrage around the world and brought international condemnation of Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist group. Dozens of the girls escaped on their own within hours, but 217 remain missing.

Buhari's request for UN intermediaries is a "show of commitment" made to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, said a statement from presidential adviser Femi Adesina.

Leadership struggle 

Buhari told Ban that his government is "willing to bend over backwards" to win the girls' freedom but finding credible Boko Haram leaders for the negotiations has been difficult, especially because of the current leadership struggle among the militants.

Longtime Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau's faction in August posted a video showing about 50 Chibok girls and offering a prisoner swap. An unidentified fighter in the video suggests the government deal with a journalist trusted by the militants. That was an apparent reference to Dubai-based Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida, who was subsequently detained by Nigerian intelligence agents, and then released. He was accused of knowing the whereabouts of the girls — which he denied.

Last week, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the government had nearly secured the girls' release three times but negotiations collapsed.

Most girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been forced to marry fighters and are pregnant or have babies, according to some of the thousands freed in the past year as the military has recaptured territory.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.