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Muhammadu Buhari 6 interesting things to know about President on his 73rd birthday

President Muhammadu Buhari is 73 today, and he has come a long way as a Nigerian. Here are 6 things you didn't know about him.

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President Buhari play

President Buhari


The current President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is 73 today, Born in 1942, he began a career in the military at the young age of 19, rising through the ranks and handling key positions and being present in pivotal moments in the history of Nigeria.

But here are a few things you didn't know about Buhari:

1. The Son: the child of Adamu and his mother Zulaihat, Buhari was the 23rd child of his father. His father died when he was 4 years old and he was raised by his mother.

play The Young Buhari (left)


2. The 'Coup Man': He participated in the July 1966 coup as a Lieutenant, led by Lt-Col Murtala Muhammed, that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria's first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi. Ironsi had assumed leadership of the Nigerian government after a failed coup attempt on January 15, 1966, which overthrew the elected parliamentary government of Nigeria (also known as first republic). A coup also brought him to power in 1983, overthrowing a democratically elected government. Their argument to justify it was "a flawed democracy was worse than no democracy at all". They accused the previous government of gross corruption.


3. The 'Oil man': In March 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo, the Head of State at the time, appointed Buhari as the Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was created in 1977. He also served as Chairman as the Petroleum Trust Fund during the Abacha administration. Buhari's time at the helms was regarded by a 1998 report by  London publication, New African, as a rare "success story".


4. The Overthrown: 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 Olikoye 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.


5. The Victor: Buhari ran for the Presidency in 2003, losing with a massive 11-million-vote margin to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, his former boss. He ran again in 2007, getting only 18% of the votes and losing to the late Umaru Musa Yar'adua, who got 70% of the votes. He lost again in 2011 to President Goodluck Jonathan with a massive 10-million-vote margin.

But in 2015, he was declared winner, gaining victory over incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in a tightly contested election.

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing a crowd of supporters play

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing a crowd of supporters




6. The Family Man: In 1971, Buhari married his first wife, Safinatu Yusuf, who was First lady during his military administration. They had five children together, four girls and one boy. They had Zulaiha, Fatima, Musa (deceased son), Hadiza, and Safinatu.

In 1988, Buhari and his first wife Safinatu were divorced. He then married Aisha Halilu in 1989, . They also have five children together, a boy and four girls. They are Aisha, Halima, Yusuf, Zarah and Amina.

On 14 January 2006, Safinatu Buhari, the former first lady, died from complications of diabetes. She was buried at Unguwar Rimi cemetery in accordance with Islamic rites.

In November 2012, Buhari's first daughter, Zulaihat (née Buhari) Junaid died from sickle cell anaemia, two days after having a baby at a hospital in Kaduna


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