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Nigeria's Ambassador To the US Prepares To Return Home - 2003-02-20

Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States, Jibril Aminu, says he believes President Bush’s Africa policies are intended to help an Africa that wants to help itself. Professor Aminu has been Nigeria’s ambassador for the last three years. Now he’s returning home.

English to Africa reporter James Butty asked him to comment on the state of US-Nigeria relations. Ambassador Aminu says at the moment they’re excellent. He says Nigeria and the United States are together when it comes to fighting terrorism. Ambassador Aminu says Nigeria and Africa sympathized with the United States following the September 2001 terrorist attacks and is close to the United States when it comes to fighting terrorism. But he says neither he nor his country sees a link between the war on terrorism and a possible US-led war with Iraq.

He says given the weakness of African countries, they are worried about the possibility of an attack by a powerful country on a weaker one. Ambassador Aminu says the rule of law represented by the United Nations should prevail in the international relations of countries.

Ambassador Aminu is returning home to run for senator in Nigeria’s April elections. On the controversy over the application of Sharia, Ambassador Aminu says that as a Muslim he supports Sharia. But he says in a mixed society like Nigeria, people should be informed about its purpose. Ambassador Aminu says Sharia should not apply to those who are not Muslims, and he says Muslims should learn from Muslims in other countries about how the law is being applied.