President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday vowed to bring to justice any corrupt Nigerian, whether the offender is a member of his party, All Progressives Congress, or highly placed.
The president said this in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
Mr. Buhari said there would be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption, saying APC members who amassed wealth illegally, would not be spared.
“It is not the issue of party members. If you have stolen, no party member can escape justice,” the president said.
He dismissed claims that he has been too slow in his style of governance, saying he believed it was too early for anyone to judge his performance in office.
He said Nigerians should hold him to his campaign promises three years from now.
The president said his government was open to negotiating with Boko Haram if the credibility of those claiming to be their representatives can be affirmed.
He said one of the key priorities of his government is to secure the release Chibok School girls, abducted by Boko Haram militants in 2014, saying anything that would make that happen, would be welcomed.
“If we are convinced we can have the girls back, why not? We can negotiate. Our goal is to have the girls back. We will ask them (Boko Haram) what they want, and we can free the girls; return them to their school; unite them with their parents and rehabilitate them, so, they can live a normal life,” the president said.
Mr. Buhari said nothing will work until the country is secured. He said that Nigerians want the issue of kidnapping in the south and Boko Haram in the north to be addressed so that everybody will live a normal live wherever they are.
He emphasized the need to exercise caution over any proposal with Boko Haram, in view of the challenge of being able to authenticate claims by any the insurgent groups calling for talks with the government on the issue.
“We have to be careful about the credibility of various Boko Haram groups calling for talks with the government. We need to be careful that we are talking to the right group,” he argued.
Mr. Buhari expressed happiness for the support he has received so far from the United States government, saying he would be delighted if his host, President Barack Obama, could “change his mind” and visit Nigeria in his upcoming visit to Africa.
Mr. Buhari also said he believed African leaders who have abused their powers in office should be tried in Africa so long as that process will lead to justice.