Abuja (Nigeria), April 1: Nigeria’s newly elected president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari who defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election, is an alumnus of the Indian Defence Services Staff College in Wellington from where he graduated in 1973.
Maj. Gen. Buhari became the president-elect after President Jonathan conceded defeat in the election and put in a call to congratulate his opponent, the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC). This is the first time a Nigerian sitting president has conceded defeat in an election.
Maj. Gen. Buhari, a former military head of state, polled 15,424,921 votes against President Jonathan’s 12,853,162, according to official results declared on Wednesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission. He also obtained the 25 percent threshold in 24 out of the country’s 36 states to win in the first round of the election.
He was born on December 17, 1942, in Daura in Katsina state, and was the 23rd child of his parents. He lost his father, Adamu, when he was only four years old.
Buhari joined the Nigerian Army in 1961 and attended the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna. Between 1962-1963, he was an Officer Cadet at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England and was commissioned a second lieutenant in January 1963.
He served as a commander of the Second Infantry Battalion from 1965-1967 and later became a Brigade Major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, from April 1967 to July 1967.
Buhari was made Brigade Major of the Third Infantry Brigade, July 1967 to October 1968, and Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade, 1970-1971.
Between 1971 and 1972, he served as the Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters. From 1974 to 1975, Maj. Gen. Buhari was appointed Acting Director, Transport and Supply, Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters.
He was also made Military Secretary, Army Headquarters,1978-1979, and was a member of the Supreme Military Council, 1978-1979. From 1979-1980, Maj. Gen. Buhari attended the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and gained a masters degree in strategic studies.
Following a coup In August 1975 by the late General Murtala Mohammed, he was appointed governor of the North-Eastern state. In March 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo, as a military head of state, appointed Maj. Gen. Buhari as the federal commissioner for petroleum and natural resources. When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was created in 1976, Buhari was also appointed its chairman, a position he held until 1978.
Buhari became head of state from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. Following the introduction of civilian rule, he ran unsuccessfully for the office of president in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.