His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari

His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was born on 17th December 1942 in Daura, Katsina State to Adamu and Zulaiha Buhari. President Buhari was raised by his mother, following the death of his father when he was about four years old.

He joined the Nigerian Army in 1961 when he was admitted to the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna. He underwent the Officer Cadets training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England from 1962 to 1963, and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in January 1963. He attended the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna for the Platoon Commanders’ Course from 1963-1964. He was then appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta. In 1965, he attended the Mechanical Transport Officers’ Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, England. Further military trainings included the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India in 1973, and the United States Army War College, from June 1979 to June 1980.

As a highly regarded officer, President Buhari held several key command and staff, as well as political appointments during his illustrious military career. These included Military Secretary; Member, Supreme Military Council; Military Governor of the North-Eastern State; Federal Commissioner of Petroleum Resources; Chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; General Officer Commanding, 4thInfantry Division and General Officer Commanding, 3rdArmoured Division.

The military coup of December 1983 led to the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, a position in which he served until August 1985.

General Buhari was appointed Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) by the Abacha administration in 1994. The main consideration in appointing him to this position was his strict discipline and incorruptibility. The PTF under General Buhari intervened directly in six major areas: Construction/maintenance of roads; water supply; supply of educational materials and rehabilitation of educational infrastructure; health; food supply; and other projects. The impact of this interventionist agency was felt across the entire nation in its four and a half years of existence.

The 2015 General Elections were quite unique and interesting in redefining the character of the Nigerian political system. The previously inchoate opposition to the dominant ruling PDP was able to form, consolidate and mature. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All-Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a breakaway faction of the ruling PDP known as the “new PDP”, and several disenchanted members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) merged in 2013 to form the All Progressive Congress (APC).

It was this new party, the APC, much stronger in terms of resources and support base as well as having a pan-Nigerian appeal, that provided the platform upon which General Buhari contested the 2015 presidential election.

The perception of most Nigerians about the character of General Buhari greatly influenced the outcome of the 2015 elections. Over the years, General Buhari had cut the image of an incorruptible leader and had spurned several past opportunities to enrich himself. His campaign slogan of “Change” was widely embraced by Nigerians who longed for a new direction after 16 years of PDP rule at the national level.

General Buhari therefore won a popular victory in the presidential elections of March 28, 2015, and was sworn into Office as President, Commander-In Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015.