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Zimbabwean elections

Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari (born December 17, 1942) was the military ruler of Nigeria (December 31,1983 - August 27, 1985) and an unsuccessful candidate for president in the April 19, 2003 presidential election. His ethnic background is Fulani and his faith is Islam; his family is from Katsina State.

Buhari Administration

Major-General Buhari was selected 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 December 31, 1983. 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 #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)." Despite authoritarian tendencies, the campaign is still lauded by many to have instilled the most orderly conduct of public and private affairs in Nigeria since its independence in 1960. Buhari's administration was initially popular with the majority of Nigerians. However, this support quickly ebbed away as the new regime resorted to ever more severe methods to stifle criticism of the government, including the promulgation of the State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No. 2, which gave the government the right to detain indefinitely, without trial any person(s) it suspected to be a threat to the nation; and the Public Officers (Protection Against False Accusation) Decree No. 4, which essentially criminalized any unfounded allegation against government officials in the press, no matter how trivial.


The Buhari Cabinet
Head of State Muhammadu Buhari 1984-1985
Chief of Staff Tunde Idiagbon 1984-1985
Defense Domkat Bali 1984-1985
Agriculture Bukar Shuaib 1984-1985
Trade Mahmud Tukur 1984-1985
Communications A Abdullahi, Lt Col 1984-1985
Education Yarima Ibrahim 1984-1985
Finance Onaolapo Soleye 1984-1985
Abuja Mamman Jiya Vatsa 1984-1985
Health Emmanuel Nsan 1984-1985
Internal Affairs Mohammed Magoro 1984-1985
Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Gambari 1984-1985
Minister of Information Sam Omeruah 1984-1985
Transportation Abdullahi Ibrahim 1984-1985
Energy Tam David-West 1984-1985
Justice Chike Offodile 1984-1985
Works Patrick Koshoni 1984-1985

1985 Coup and Overthrow

Buhari was himself overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida on August 27, 1985 and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) ostensibly, because he insisted on investigating allegations of fraudulent award of contracts in the Ministry of Defense . If that investigation had been carried through, it is believed that many senior military officers would have been implicated. Buhari's insistence on this investigation was to become his fait accompli. A Palace Coup was planned and carried out by Babangida and some senior military officers whose necks were heading for the chopping block following the conclusion of the investigation. Without a doubt, this would have become Buhari's and Idiagbon's most bitter and shocking lesson on how endemic and widespread corruption had become in Nigeria.

Later Years

Buhari served under the administration of General Sani Abacha, as the head of the Petroleum Trust Fund, a body created by Government, and funded from deductions in the Revenue fund, to pursue developmental projects around the country. His transparent and efficient handling of this agency endeared him to Nigerians, especially in the North.

In 2003, Buhari contested the Presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP). He was defeated by the People's Democratic Party nominee, President Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ, by a margin of more than eleven million votes. It should be pointed out that in some states, like Ebonyi, there were more votes than there were actually registered voters . Although some allegations of fraud were conclusively proven in the Courts and the conduct of the election criticized by the same Commonwealth body that did criticize the Zimbabwean elections, the general consensus among Nigerians was that he should not waste his time in court as he did not have the necessary resources to "buy" himself justice. Eventually, the same court also decided that the level of proven electoral fraud was not sufficient to affect the outcome of the election and to warrant the cancellation of the whole Presidential election.

On 18th December 2006, Gen. Buhari was nominated as the consensus candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party. His main challenger in the April 2007 polls was the ruling PDP candidate, Umaru Yar'Adua, who also hails from the same home state - Katsina. In the election, Buhari officially took 18% of the vote against 70% for Yar'Adua, but Buhari rejected these results . After Yar'Adua took office, the ANPP agreed to join his government, but Buhari denounced this agreement .

Apart from late Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Buhari remains one of the few former leaders of Nigeria who has never been suspected of corruption. In fact, after his release from detention, he had no accommodation to live in. He also had to borrow money from the bank to purchase the ANPP Presidential Nomination form, which cost 10 million naira . His sole source of income is his military pension .

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