President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why security agencies have not rescued the abducted Chibok and Dapchi girls taken by members of Boko Haram. 

It has been three weeks since the last set of school girls, 110 of them, were abducted from a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State. 

On Monday, the Nigerian leader met with the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and the girls abduction was part of their discussion. 

President Buhari told the U.S. envoy that Nigeria prefered to have the Chibok and Dapchi girls back alive, and that was why his administration had chosen negotiation, rather than military option.

The meeting was held at the State House in Abuja.


President Buhari added that Nigeria was working in concert with international organisations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors.

"We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive," the President said.

Buhari speaks to US on Dapchi and Chibok girls

He thanked America for assistance rendered in the fight against insurgency, noting that Nigerian forces are good, "but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment".

President Buhari promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country.

He also told Mr Tillerson that he would be in Yobe State, from where Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted, later this week "as part of my condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events".

Another issue that was discussed was the 2019 general elections and the Nigerian leader pledged free and fair polls.

"The former Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls, "and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did."

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The visiting Secretary of State commended President Buhari on his efforts in the anti-corruption war, to which the Nigerian leader responded that moneys recovered were being invested on development of infrastructure.

Mr Tillerson said Nigeria was a very important country to the U.S.

"You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019," Mr Tillerson stated.