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“I will…stay and fight it out.” – Buhari says he will NOT resign if Boko Haram isn’t Defeated by December



Buhari on Al Jazeera
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks exclusively with Al Jazeera English’s Mehdi Hasan:
• Declares he “will not resign” if he doesn’t fulfill his promise to defeat Boko Haram by December. “I will…stay and fight it out.”
• Says he’s willing to do a deal with Boko Haram to free the kidnapped Chibok girls: “We said it and we meant it.”
• Denies any support for “sharia” law: “Nigerian law does not allow for that.”
• Claims he has never seen Amnesty International’s June report highlighting abuses by the Nigerian military: “I haven’t received that report personally.”

In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, UpFront, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari 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.”

When asked whether he would offer financial payments, or a prisoner release, to Boko Haram in return for the girls, Buhari did not rule out either option. “Well it depends on the negotiations with the leadership of Boko Haram.”

The president has pledged to defeat Boko Haram by the end of 2015 and told Hasan: “As soon as the rainy season comes, which is by the end of the year […] Boko Haram will virtually be out of their main stronghold and that will be the end of it [….] Attacks by Boko Haram on townships, on military installations, will certainly stop.”

If Boko Haram isn’t defeated by December, however, Buhari said he “will not resign.”

“I will be determined to stay and fight it out.”

The president claimed not to have seen the Amnesty International report from June 2015, ‘Nigeria: Stars on their shoulders: Blood on their hands’, in which the human-rights group documented abuses, torture and unlawful killings by the Nigerian armed forces and urged the government to prosecute a group of officers and senior commanders. “I haven’t received that report personally,” said Buhari. “If I get those documents… I assure you that I will take action as Commander in Chief.”

In the past, Buhari has been quoted as saying he supports “the total implementation of the sharia in the country” but he told ‘UpFront’ that “Nigerian law does not allow for” so-called 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.”

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 apologize.” The president refused, however, to concede that his now-notorious ‘war against indiscipline’ in the 1980s featured any such “injustice.”

Watch the Full Interview


  1. L

    October 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

    God forbid that boko haram isn’t eliminated, but if they arent why should he resign???

  2. fafo

    October 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Al Jazeera’s upfront host is grounded, when it comes to conducting interviews. His courage, bluntness and concise style is enlightening & keeps amusing me. Unlike Nigerian journalists acting scared to ask deep, genuine and meaningful questions. Mehdi Hasan knows his onions.

    • Anon

      October 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Medhi Hasan! Dude!! I have a lot of time for him. Check out the schools he attended. Next thing, someone will rant that the schools you attended do not matter. Oh yeah, they do.

    • Anon

      October 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm


  3. Noms

    October 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Usaiiii , baba.
    I am non-partisan and pray for a better Nigeria. I don’t think its too early for me to say I am disappointed .
    After contesting for the post of the presidency for the past general elections with 16years gone by, one would think/except GMB to have his plans all mapped out and hit the ground running.
    Again, even if he had, with his sponsors who have more plans than I guess he(GMB) there will be lots of conflict and Nigeria will again suffer because of the greed and selfishness of a group of persons.
    God help us


    October 19, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This boko haram thing is annoying….i taught they said its because of GEJ…now see…

  5. MsBlossom

    October 19, 2015 at 10:48 am

    He’s wife asked Jonathan to resign because of the BH issue, So why won’t he “Buhari resign if he can’t meet up his responsibilities?..It was never easy for GEJ, Pres. Buhari and his followers have no agenda for Nigerians. I’m no Partisan but GEJ was more diplomatic and tactical. As far I know in my Opinion, buhari & APC is all over the place, witch hunting previous “Yam eaters” (mostly PDP party men). He assumed office and visited same Chad he mocked GEJ about. I Hope Nigerians realise soon that we just went back another 4years & will take another 4 years to recover making it 8years lost in total… I’m still watching this season & episode of Pres. Muhamadu Buhari.

    • nnenne

      October 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Am with you Ms Blossom. Thanks.

  6. jayboogie

    October 19, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Lmao ! the part where Buhari said ” will you allow me to finish please ” Mr. President, now you know that seat is not Moi-Moi init ? you better resign if you fail to tackle Boko Haram .. one chance president !

  7. fine girl

    October 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    because he said he would during elections

  8. FasholasLover

    October 20, 2015 at 12:27 am

    This whole Chibok thing eeh! This minute, “we know where they are”. The next minute,” BH should prove to us that the girls are alive.” So much contradiction. This President and his followers either have occasional memory loss or he is just damn stupid and assumes everyone else is.

  9. isah abubakar

    February 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm


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