President Muhammadu Buhari who has been quoted as saying he supports “the total implementation of the sharia in the country” yesterday said the country cannot practise certain prescribed punishment under the Islamic penal code. According to him Nigerian law does not allow for “sharia punishments, such as stonings and amputations, adding: “I cannot change it. I haven’t been voted by a majority of Nigerians to change Nigerian constitution.”
Buhari spoke on wide-ranging issues in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’.
Asked about his record as a military dictator in the mid-1980s, and the alleged human-rights abuses which occurred on his watch, Buhari said: “If there is any injustice that can be proved against me when I was there, I will gladly apologise.”
The president refused, however, to concede that his now-notorious ‘war against indiscipline’ in the 1980s featured any such “injustice”.
Buhari had pledged to defeat Boko Haram by December but also acknowledged he would be willing to negotiate with the group to secure the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls. “They have to prove to us that they are alive, they are well, and then we can… negotiate with them,” President Buhari told ‘UpFront’ host Mehdi Hasan. We said it and we meant it. If we are satisfied that the girls are alive.