Muhammadu Buhari is a Nigerian politician, retired major general, and the incumbent president of Nigeria. Before this time, he had served as Head of State from 1983 – 1985 when he was in the Nigerian Army. In addition, he was the former governor of one of the states in North East of Nigeria and one-time Federal Minister of Petroleum.
Prior to becoming a democratically elected president of Nigeria, President Buhari contested and failed on three different occasions. On the fourth attempt, he won, succeeding President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Also, in 2019, he was re-elected against strong candidates like Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party candidate (PDP).
Muhammadu Buhari Early Life
Muhammadu Buhari was born on December 17, 1942. He was born into a Fulani family in Daura, Northern region (Now Katsina state) by Hardo Adamu and Zulaihat. He is the twenty-third child of his father. He was raised by his mother after the death of his father. And, he spent his early years in Daura before enrolling in a Military college at age 19.
Muhammadu Buhari Personal Life
Buhari got married to his first wife, Safinatu Yusuf in 1971. Safinatu became the first lady when Buhari served as the Head of State (December 1983 – August 1985). With her, Buhari has five children. The marriage ended in 1988.
Buhari then married Aisha Halilu in 1989. Aisha currently holds the office of the first lady. And, their union is blessed with five children.
Sadly, Buhari lost his former wife, Safinatu and his first daughter, Zulaihat in 2006 and 2012 respectively.
In 2015, he made a public declaration of his asset. According to BBC, they include; five houses, two mud houses, farms, ranch with 270 cattle, 25 sheep, 5 horses and variety of birds. Also, he own shares in three firms, two undeveloped plots of lands etc.
Muhammadu Buhari Military Career
In 1962, Buhari enrolled in the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) (before it was renamed Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA)) in 1964.
After joining, he attended the officer cadet training at Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, England. Then, in 1963, he became a second lieutenant and was appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
As time went on, he underwent many trainings and moved up the military rank.
Other Promotions include;
1965 – 1967, Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion and also appointed brigade major, second sector, first infantry division.
1966, Participated in the July Rematch/Counter Coup.
1967 – 1970 Participated in the Civil War.
1970 – 1971, Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade.
1971 – 1972, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters.
1974 – 1975, Acting Director of Transport and Supply at the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters.
August 1 1975 – February 3 1976, Governor of the North-Eastern State to oversee social, economic and political improvements in the state.
February 3 1976 – March 15 1976, Governor of Borno State.
March 1976, Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
1978 – 1979, Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters/ Member of the Supreme Military Council.
1979 – 1980, Rank of Colonel. As a result, he attended the US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, US and obtained Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.
August 1980 – January 1981, General Officer Commanding, 4tht Infantry Division
January 1981 – October 1981, General Officer Commanding, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Division.
October 1981 – December 1983, General Officer Commanding, 3rd Armed Division Nigerian Army.
Federal Commissioner For Petroleum And Natural Resources
Firstly, Buhari was appointed as a Federal Commissioner (a position now regarded as a ministerial position) for petroleum and natural resources in March 1976. He was appointed by General Olusegun Obasanjo (Head of State 1976 – 1979). Later, in 1977, he became the chairman (1977 – 1978) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation after its creation.
During his leadership, there were notable development in the petroleum sector. For instance, the administration built over 21 petroleum storage deports all over the country. It also constructed pipeline networks, refineries and oil pipelines and made connections between each of them.
Head of State 1983 – 1985
After the December 31, 1983 coup that ousted Shehu Shagari, Buhari was chosen as the military Head of State.
His regime established a Supreme Military Council, Federal Executive Council, Council of States and other councils. He posed a great threat against corruption and indiscipline. Hundred of politicians, businessmen and officials who took part in corrupt practices were jailed. Only those who met certain conditions were released.
With his zero tolerance for indiscipline, he launched War Against Indiscipline (WAI) on March 20, 1984. WAI was launched to enforce obedience to rules and regulations of the country.
For instance, civilians were made to form queues in bus stops, civil servants who arrive late to work were forced to do frog jumps and cheating in exams attracted 21 years imprisonment. The press and trade unions were not left out.
Buhari’s government was ousted in 1985 by General Ibrahim Babangida. He was thrown into jail in Benin City, where he had restricted access to things and people. Finally, he was releases in 1998.
President Of Nigeria
Buhari unsuccessfully contested for the office of the president three times. In 2003, he contested under All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), and was defeated by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo (PDP).
In 2007, he also contested under the same party, and lost to Umar Musa Yar’Adua of the People’s Democratic Party. Then, in 2011, he was defeated by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Finally, he won the 2015 presidential election under the All Progressive Congress (APC). He won against incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. It was the first time in the history of Nigeria’s politics, where a sitting president will be defeated.
President Buhari was re-elected in 2019 after defeating his closest opponent Atiku Abubakar of People’s Democratic party (PDP).
Muhammadu Buhari Awards
- Investiture as Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, 2015
- CAF Platinum Award, Glo-CAF Award, 2016
- Polio Champion Award, Rotary International, 2018
- Awarded in Recognition of his sterling leadership qualities, Progressive Governors Forum Award, 2019
- Decorated as Grand Patron of the Nigerian Media Merit Award by the Board of Trustees of the Prime Media Awards, 2019
- The Grand Gordon of the Knighthood of Venerable Order of the Pioneers, Republic of Liberia’s highest national honour in Monrovia, 2019
- Congo Medal (CM)
- Defence Service Medal (DSM)
- General Service Medal (GSM)
- Global Seal of Integrity (GSOI)
- Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR)
- Loyal Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM)
- National Service Medal (NSM)
Muhammadu Buhari Quotes
“We will encourage our countrymen to stay at home, work hard, and make a respectable living at home.”
“I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody.”
“…In particular, we must educate more young girls, ensuring they will grow up to be empowered through learning to play their full part as citizens of Nigeria and pull themselves up and out of poverty.”
“Those who embezzle public funds should be ready to face the consequences.”
“We know we are on the right path. Our journey is not finished, but we have come a long way.”
“The thing that the Nigerian government will do is to secure the environment. If the environment is not secured, then unfortunately, the investments wouldn’t be coming in.”
“To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.”
“It is our responsibility to ensure Nigeria’s infrastructure is fixed; we will keep doing this.”
“Nigeria needs stricter laws to protect girls and women from abuse.”
“We must domesticate our policies to reflect our local realities.”
“…it is important to make it clear that Nigeria can only truly move forward with homegrown solutions.”
“Together, we can overcome corruption and will no longer be a country defined by corruption.”
“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth.”
“As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas.”
Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Life Of Muhammadu Buhari
Never Give Up
Buhari failed three times consecutively as a presidential contestant. He kept trying until he emerged victorious in 2015 and 2019. This is to show that, to be successful, you must never give up.
Bringing it to business and drawing from the example of one of the richest businessman in the world, Richard Branson; he failed many times and lost count of the number of times he was turned down. Guess what? He never gave up. Today, he is celebrated as one of the most successful business tycoon alive.
Don’t ever give up on your dream, be it business, career or personal. Remember, ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel.’
Stand for Something
As an individual, what are you known for? Can people vouch for you? In his days as Head of State, Buhari was a known disciplinarian and an incorruptible man. Which was one of the attributes that got him into office in 2015.
Stand for what is right and be transparent in your dealing as an entrepreneur. People invest more in people than they do in business. Let integrity be your watch word in your business dealings.