President Buhari has denied knowledge of what his government exchanged with Boko Haram for the 21 abducted Chibok girls, saying he would need to return from Germany to be fully briefed.
“This is what I don’t know until I go back. I said the release is on the morning I left and this is not something we will discuss on the telephone,” Mr. Buhari said in the interview with German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.
Twenty Chibok girls and some government officials said the administration did not give Boko Haram anything in return.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, denied a report that the government released Boko Haram detainees for the girls.
“Please note that this is not a swap. It is a release,” Mr. Mohammed told reporters Thursday.
Mr. Mohammed said President Buhari assigned the State Security Service to proceed with the negotiation and credited the release to “painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides”.
During the exchange with Mr. Buhari, Deutsche Welle’s Phil Gayle asked the president if he was aware of an exchange of Boko Haram commanders for the girls as widely reported in the media.
“Until I go back, I will receive a formal briefing on how the negotiations went,” Mr. Buhari said. “As soon as I go back home I will find out the written confirmation of how it all went.”
Mr. Buhari traveled to Germany on Thursday for talks with that country’s leader, Angela Merkel.
He returned to Abuja on Saturday.