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Summary Article: Buhari, Muhammadu
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Nigerian politician and former soldier, president 1983–85 and from 2015. He led the military coup that ousted Shehu Shagari in 1983. Having assumed the presidency himself, he imposed an authoritarian regime of austerity measures. He was deposed in a coup led by Ibrahim Babangida in 1985, and was detained until 1988. He left the military in 1985 and stood unsuccessfully as a civilian candidate for the presidency in 2003, 2007, and 2011. Presenting himself as a ‘converted democrat’, he secured 54% of the vote to defeat the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in March 2015 and became the first opposition candidate to become president after an election. In June 2015 Nigerian forces led a military initiative against the Boko Haram Islamist jihadist terrorist group.

He was deposed after he had supported an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the award of defence contracts. He unsuccessfully contested for the presidency in 2003. He is one of the few former leaders of Nigeria who has never been suspected of corruption.

From the Fulani ethnic group, Buhari was born in Katsina state, in northern Nigeria, into a Muslim family. He trained at military academies in Nigeria, the UK, and India, and became military governor of North-Eastern State 1975–76 and of Bornu State in 1976. From 1976 to 1978 he was appointed federal commissioner for petroleum resources and he became chair of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation 1976–79, before returning to army duties.

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