Read Profile of Nigeria’s New President, Muhammadu Buhari

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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. 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 Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961. He then joined the Nigerian Military Training School in Kaduna, where his military career began.

Nigeria’s former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, 72, is not a quitter. He is now the Fifth democratically elected president in the country.

Defeated in the last three elections, he achieved a historic victory in the 28 March election, becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent.

Mr Buhari faced President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the southern Niger Delta region, for a second time at the polls.

This time, he had the advantage of being the candidate of a united opposition grouping, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The APC attracted heavyweight defectors from Mr Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has dominated the political scene since the end of military rule in 1999.

‘Assassination attempt’

Mr Buhari has always been popular among the poor of the north (known as the “talakawa” in the north’s Hausa language).

Now some feel his military background and his disciplinarian credentials are just what the whole country needs to get to grips with the Islamist insurgency in the north.

A Muslim from Daura in Katsina State, who has given his support to Sharia in the north, Mr Buhari has previously had to deny allegations that he has a radical Islamist agenda.

This proved a problem for him in the 2003 polls – he failed to secure much support among Christians in the south, where he was viewed with some suspicion.

But having escaped an attack on his convoy in Kaduna in July 2014, which bore all the hallmarks of a Boko Haram assassination attempt, he has promised to end the insurgency within months if elected.

He has blamed President Jonathan’s weakness for its escalation and has refused overtures to participate in talks with the radical militant group.

His tough stance as a military commander in 1983 – when some Nigerian islands were annexed in Lake Chad by Chadian soldiers – is still remembered in the north-east, now the militants’ stronghold, after he blockaded the area and drove off the invaders.

‘War Against Indiscipline’

He ruled Nigeria from January 1984 until August 1985, taking charge after a military coup in December 1983.

It is a period remembered for a strict campaign against indiscipline and corruption, and for its human rights abuses.

  • Age 72
  • Elected president in 28 March poll
  • Military ruler of Nigeria from 1984 to 1985
  • Deposed in a coup
  • Poor human rights record
  • Seen as incorruptible
  • Disciplinarian – civil servants late for work had to do frog jumps
  • Muslim from northern Nigeria
  • Survived an apparent Boko Haram assassination attempt

The verdict on Mr Buhari’s 20 months as military ruler 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.

 

Originally posted on bbc.com

Sourced from Wikipedia.com

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