President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

On March 31, 2015, Muhammadu Buhari was elected as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on his fourth attempt to become a democratically elected president. He was sworn in as President of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 following his victory over incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 2015 presidential elections. Muhammadu Buhari is the fourth President of Nigeria's Fourth Republic and the fifteenth president (military and democratic) in Nigeria's history.

Muhammadu Buhari was born on 17 December 1942, in Daura, Katsina State, to his father Adamu and mother Zulaihat. He is the twenty-third child of his father. Muhammadu Buhari was raised by his mother, after his father died when he was about four years old. He attended primary school in Daura and Mai'adua before proceeding to Katsina Model School in 1953, and to Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961.

Buhari joined the Nigerian Army in 1961, when he attended the Nigerian Military Training College (in February 1964, it was renamed the Nigerian Defense Academy) in Kaduna State . He underwent officer cadets training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England.


In January 1963, Buhari was commissioned as second lieutenant, and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. From November 1963 to January 1964, Buhari attended the Platoon Commanders’ Course at the Nigerian Military College, at Kaduna. In 1964, he facilitated his military training by attending the Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom.

From 1965 to 1967, Buhari served as Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion. He was appointed Brigade Major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, April 1967 to July 1967. Buhari was made Brigade Major of the Third Infantry Brigade, July 1967 to October 1968 and Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade, 1970 to 1971.

Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade, 1970 to 1971. Buhari served as the Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters, from 1971 to 1972. He also attended the Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, India, in 1973. From 1974 to 1975 Buhari was Acting Director of Transport and Supply at the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters. He was also Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters from 1978 to 1979 and was a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1978 to 1979.

From 1979 to 1980, at the rank of colonel, Buhari (class of 1980) attended the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in the United States, and gained a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies. Upon completion of the on-campus full-time resident program lasting ten months and the two-year-long, distance learning program, the United States Army War College (USAWC) college awards its graduate officers a master's degree in Strategic Studies.

In July 1966 Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari was one of the participants in a coup, led by Lt-Col Murtala Muhammed, that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria's first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi. Then Lieutenant Colonel Buhari was among a group of officers (led by Colonels Ibrahim Taiwo, Joseph Garba, Abdulahi Mohammed, Anthony Ochefu, Lieutenant Colonels Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, Ibrahim Babangida and Alfred Aduloju) who overthrew the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon. Col. Buhari was appointed military governor of the North Eastern State after the successful execution of the coup.

Finally Major-General Buhari was one of the leaders of the military coup of December 1983 that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. At the time of the coup plot, Buhari was the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Third Armored Division of Jos. In August 1985, Major General Buhari was himself overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) ostensibly, because he insisted on investigating allegations of fraudulent award of contracts in the Ministry of Defense. Buhari was then detained in Benin City until 1988.

Buhari contested the Presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party on 2003. On 18th December 2006, Gen. Buhari was nominated as the consensus candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party. His main challenger in the 2007 April polls was the ruling PDP's Umaru Yar'Adua, who is also from the same state - Katsina and he lost. In March 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party that he had helped to found.

Buhari was the CPC Presidential candidate in the 16 April 2011 general election, running against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP.

Buhari ran in the 2015 Presidential election as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress party. Muhammadu Buhari's campaign was briefly advised by former Obama campaign manager, David Axelrod, and his AKPD consultancy. In February 2015, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo quit the ruling PDP party and threw his support behind the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. On March 31, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan called Buhari to offer his concession and congratulations for his election as president. President Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015 in a ceremony attended by at least 23 Heads of State and Government.