Undeniably, Buhari is admired by many for his uprightness and anti-corruption stand, but the fame did not come that easy. The moral revolution anchored on the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), which he introduced as a military leader had remained a national phenomenon and reference point for decades. Though military governments were aberration at the time he and the late Brig. General Tunde Idiagbon sacked the then government of President Shehu Shagari; history had been fair to him for the high level of discipline and patriotism, which he exhibited in leading the nation.
Till date, Buhari is yet to allow that anti-corruption posture to wane. His government was revered for its ability to keep the country afloat by making progress through sheer economic ingenuity even when it rejected the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan; refused to devalue the Naira; curbed imports of needless goods; curtailed oil theft and used a counter trade policy to barter seized illegally bunkered crude oil for needful goods like machineries. His administrative style and transparency was also lauded by many Nigerians when he headed the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
The agency (though scrapped) is still credited for impacting on the lives of the people through impleallmentation of several developmental projects. Born in Daura, Katsina State, on December 17, 1942 to Adamu and Zulaihat Buhari, Buhari is the 23rd child of his father.
He was raised by his mother after his father died when he was about four years old. He attended primary school in Daura and Mai’adua before proceeding to Katsina Model School in 1953, and Katsina Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961. He later joined the Nigerian Military Training School Kaduna in 1963 and also attended Officer’s Cadet School in Aldershot (United Kingdom), October 1963. In 1964, he was at the Nigerian Military College, Kaduna for Platoon Commanders’ course and later attended Mechanical Transport Officer’s course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden (United Kingdom), 1965. He also studied at the Defence Services’ Staff College, Wellington (India), 1973 and the United States Army War College, 1979-1980.
He first came to limelight following his appointment as governor of the then newly created North-East State during General Muhammed’s regime and later to national focus in 1975, when he was appointed by the regime of General Obasanjo as Minister (then Federal Commissioner) for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
He became the first chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at its creation in 1977. Among the several positions he held during his military career include Platoon Commander, 2nd Infantry battalion, 1963-1964; Mechanical Transport Officer, Lagos Garrison, 1964-1965; Transport Company Commander, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1965-1966; Battalion Adjutant/ Commander, 2nd Infantry Division, 1967- 1968 and Brigade Major, 2nd sector, 1st Infantry Division, 1967; Others are Brigade Major, 3rd Infantry Division, 1967-1968; Acting Commander, 4th Sector, 1st Division, 1968- 1970; Commander, 31st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 1970-1971; Assistant Adjutant-General, 1st Infantry Division Headquarters, 1971-1972; Colonel, General Staff, 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters, 1974. He was also Acting Director Supply and Transport, Nigerian Army Corps, Headquarters, 1974-1975; Military Secretary, Army Headquarters, 1978 – 1979; Member, Supreme Military Council, 1978-1979; General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division, 1980-1981; General Officer Commanding, 3rd Armoured Division, 1981-1983; Executive Chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), 1995-1999. Buhari has received several awards and medals including, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR); Defence Service Medal (DSM); National Service Medal (NSM); General Service Medal (GSM) Loyal Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM); Forces Service Star (FSS) and the Congo Medal (CM) among others.