He said his administration was finding lasting solutions to the menace.
According to a statement by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in London.
Buhari said the problem should not be seen from the point of view of religion, saying it was sociological and economic.
The President said, “The problem is older than us. It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region.
“These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms.
“Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons. The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.”
On the war against insurgency, he stressed the need for continuous education of the people, “so that they can be free from religious manipulation.”
On Leah Sharibu, the schoolgirl from Dapchi still being held by insurgents because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, the President said his government was handling her case quietly.
He said his administration was avoiding dealing with many fraudulent people who had been making “frivolous claims” on the matter.
“Making noise would not help. We are collecting as much intelligence as possible, working with the Red Cross and other international organizations.
“There are too many fraudulent people around; we won’t deal with them. That was how we got the Dapchi girls back, and the Chibok girls,” he added.
The clergyman on his part, told the President “You have my best wishes on your recent decision. We are neutral as a church, but we will pray for you. Great statesmen are those who run for the good of their country.”