Meet Nigeria's Next President Major Gen. Buhari
Born on 17 December 1942, Muhammadu Buhari is also a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army. He was Head of State of Nigeria from 31st December 1983 to 27th August 1985 after a coup d’état.
Buhari hails from the Katsina State of Daura and is of the Fulani ethnic group, one of the key ethnic groups in northern Nigeria. He is the twenty-third child of his father, whom he lost at the age of four.
He married his first wife, Safinatu in 1971whom he divorced 17 years later. He married his second and current wife, Aisha, a year later in 1989. He had five children each with the two women.
The former military leader joined the Nigerian Army in 1961 through the Nigerian Military Training College before proceeding to the Mons Officer Cadet School in England.
He was commissioned second lietenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria in 1963.
Buhari rose through the ranks swiftly and was appointed the Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters in 1978.
When former President Olusegun Obasanjo was a military ruler in the 1970s, Mr Buhari held the key position of minister of petroleum affairs.
Major-General Buhari was one of the leaders of the Nigerian Military Coup of December 31, 1983 that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari, much to the annoyance of Olusegun Obasanjo.
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)
General Buhari will later unsuccessfully run for President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, for the 2015 elections.
He retains a rare reputation for honesty among Nigeria’s politicians largely due to his anti corruption crusades.
He is credited with order and discipline as he is remembered for ordering Nigerians to form neat queues at bus stops, under the sharp eyes of whip-wielding soldiers.
Civil servants who were late for work were publicly humiliated by being forced to do frog jumps.
He also introduced a notorious decree to restrict press freedom, under which two journalists were jailed.