Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, who has been known to be a staunch supporter of the “the total implementation of the sharia in the country” has on Friday stated that Nigeria cannot practice certain prescribed punishment under the Sharia law -Islamic penal code.
Speaking on wide-ranging issues during an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’, he said Nigerian law does not allow for “sharia punishments, such as stoning and amputation, adding: “I cannot change it. I haven’t been voted by [a] majority of Nigerians to change Nigerian constitution.”
Responding to question on 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.