Tillerson pledges US support to Nigeria in Boko Haram fight

President Buhari hosts U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, says Nigeria Negotiating with Boko Haram.

LAGOS––ON Monday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized last month’s mass abduction of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria and promised Washington’s “full support” in the country’s fight against Boko Haram jihadists.

“The recent kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls heartbreaking,” Tillerson said on his arrival in the capital Abuja on the final leg of an African tour.

The US top diplomat said, “Nigeria has the US in full support and we are actively working with our partners in what we can assist you in this fight.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian president is working to get the kidnapped schoolgirls ‘back alive’

Official sources say the Nigerian government is working with international organizations to secure the safe return of 110 schoolgirls kidnapped by suspected members of Boko Haram.

President Buhari said this approach would not involve the military.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” he said during a visit from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Buhari thanked the US for its assistance in the fight against Boko Haram, adding that he would be in Yoke State later this week “as part of my condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events.”

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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