Information about candidate
Muhammadu Buhari - APC Presidential Election candidate
Muhammadu Buhari was born on 17 December 1942, in Daura, Katsina State. He is the twenty-third child of his father, Adamu. Buhari was raised by his mother, his father died when he was about three or four. Buhari attended primary school in Daura and Mai'adua, 1948-1952 and later proceeded to Katsina Model School in 1953 and Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956-1961.
He joined the then Nigerian Military Training School, Kaduna in 1963 and also attended Officer's Cadet School in Aldershot (United Kingdom), October 1963. In 1964, he was at the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna for Platoon Commanders' Course and later attended the Mechanical Transport Officer's Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden (United Kingdom) 1965. Buhari also studied at the Defense Services' Staff College, Wellington (India), 1973 and the United States Army War College, June 1979 to June 1980.
In 1971, Buhari got married to his first wife, the former first lady, Safinatu (nee Yusuf) Buhari. They had five children together. In 1988, Buhari and his first wife Safinatu got divorced. In December 1989, Buhari got married to his second and current wife Aisha (nee Halilu) Buhari. They also have five children together.
In his career as a military man and in public service, he was :
- Platoon Commander, 2nd Infantry battalion, 1963-1964;
- Mechanical Transport Officer, Lagos Garrison, 1964-1965;
- Transport Company Commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1965-1966;
- Battalion Adjutant/Commander, 2nd Infantry Division, August 1967-October 1968;
- Brigade Major, 2nd sector, 1st Infantry Division, April to July, 1967;
- Brigade Major, 3rd Infantry Division, August 1967-October 1968;
- Acting Commander, 4th Sector, 1st Division, November 1968 to February 1970;
- Commander, 31st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, February 1970 to June 1971;
- Assistant Adjutant-General, 1st Infantry Division Headquarters, July 1971 to December 1972;
- Colonel, General Staff, 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters, January 1974 to September 1974;
- Acting Director Supply and Transport, Nigerian Army Corps, Headquarters, September 1974 to July 1975;
- Military Governor, North Eastern State of Nigeria, August 1975 to March 1976;
- Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources, March 1976 to June 1978;
- Chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, June 1978 to June 1979;
- Military Secretary, Army Headquarters, July 1978 - June 1979;
- Member, Supreme Military Council, July 1978 - June 1979;
- General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division, August 1980 to January 1981;
- General Officer Commanding, 3rd Armoured Division, November 1981 - December 1983;
- Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, December 1983 to August 1985.
- Executive Chairman, Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF), March 1995 to May 1999.
Major-General Buhari was selected as Head of State to lead the country by middle and high-ranking military officers after a successful military coup d'etat that overthrew civilian President Shehu Shagari on 31 December 1983. At the time, Buhari was head of the Third Armored Division of Jos. Buhari was appointed Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and Tunde Idiagbon was appointed Chief of General Staff (the de facto No. 2 in the administration). Buhari justified the military's seizure of power by castigating the civilian government as hopelessly corrupt, and his administration subsequently initiated a public campaign against indiscipline known as "War Against Indiscipline" (WAI).
In order to reform the economy, as Head of State, Buhari started to rebuild the nation's social-political and economic systems, along the realities of Nigeria's austere economic conditions. The rebuilding included removing or cutting back the excesses in national expenditure, obliterate or remove completely corruption from the nation's social ethics, shifting from mainly public sector employment to self-employment. Buhari also encouraged import substitution industrialisation based to a great extent on the use of local materials and he tightened importation.
On 7 May 1984, Buhari announced publicly for the first time his administration's 1984 National Budget. The budget had in it::
- A temporary ban on recruiting federal public sector workers
- Raising of Interest rates
- Halting Capital Projects
- Prohibition of borrowing by State governments
- 15 percent cut from Shagari's 1983 Budget
- Realignment of import duties
- Reducing the balance of payment deficit by cutting imports
- It also gave priority to the importation of raw materials and spare parts that were needed for agriculture and industry.
- Other economic measures by Buhari took the form of counter trade, currency change, price reduction of goods and services.
Buhari's regime is one remembered for a strict campaign against indiscipline and corruption, and for its human rights abuses. The public impression of his 20 months as Nigeria's leader is mixed:
About 500 politicians, officials and businessmen were jailed as part of a campaign against waste and corruption. Some saw this as the heavy-handed repression of military rule. But others remember it as a praiseworthy attempt to fight the endemic graft that prevented Nigeria's development.
He retains a rare reputation for honesty among Nigeria's politicians, both military and civilian, largely because of this campaign. As part of his "War Against Indiscipline", he ordered 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.
However, his attempts to re-balance public finances by curbing imports led to many job losses and the closure of businesses. As part of anti-corruption measures, he also ordered that the currency be replaced - the colour of the naira notes were changed - forcing all holders of old notes to exchange them at banks within a limited period. Prices rose while living standards fell.
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). Babangida brought many of Buhari's most vocal critics into his administration, including Fela Kuti's brother Olukoye Ransome-Kuti, a doctor who had led a strike against Buhari to protest declining health care services. Buhari was then detained in Benin City until 1988.
Buhari served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF 1995-1999), a body created by the government of General Sani Abacha, and funded from the revenue generated by the increase in price of petroleum products, to pursue developmental projects around the country. A 1998 report in New African praised the PTF under Buhari for its transparency, calling it a rare "success story". However, the same report also noted that critics had questioned the PTF's allocation of 20% of its resources to the military, which the critics feared would not be accountable for the revenue.
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