Muhammadu Buhari GCFR (born 17 December 1942) is a Nigerian politician who has been president of Nigeria since 2015. Buhari is a retired general of the Nigerian Army and served as military head of state from 1983 to 1985, after taking power in a military coup d'état. The term Buharism is ascribed to the right-wing policies of his military regime. Buhari has said that he takes responsibility for anything over which he presided during his military rule, and that he cannot change the past. He has described himself as a "converted democrat".
Buhari ran for president of Nigeria in 2003, 2007, and 2011. In December 2014, he emerged as the nominee of the All Progressives Congress for the 2015 general election. Buhari won the election, defeating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This was the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015. In February 2019, Buhari was reelected, defeating his closest rival Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes.
In 2003, Buhari ran for office in the presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP). He was defeated by the People's Democratic Party incumbent, President Olus?gun ?basanj?, by more than 11 million votes.
On 18 December 2006, 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 hailed from the same home state of Katsina. Buhari officially took 18% of the vote to Yar'Adua's 70%, but Buhari rejected these results. After Yar'Adua took office, he called for a government of national unity to bring on board aggrieved opposition members. The ANPP joined the government with appointment of its national chairman as a member of Yar'Adua's cabinet, but Buhari denounced this agreement.
In March 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party he had helped to found. He said that he had supported foundation of the CPC "as a solution to the debilitating, ethical and ideological conflicts in my former party the ANPP".
Buhari was the CPC Presidential candidate in the 2011 election, running against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP. They were the major contenders among 20 candidates. Buhari campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and pledged to remove immunity protections from government officials. He also gave support to enforcement of Sharia law in Nigeria's northern states, which had previously caused him political difficulties among Christian voters in the country's south.
The elections were marred by widespread sectarian violence, which claimed the lives of 800 people across the country, as Buhari's supporters attacked Christian settlements in the country's central region. The three-day uprising was blamed in part on Buhari's inflammatory comments In spite of assurances from Human Rights Watch, which had judged the elections "among the fairest in Nigeria's history", Buhari claimed that the vote was flawed and warned that "If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood".
Buhari remained a "folk hero" to some for his vocal opposition to corruption. He won 12,214,853 votes, coming in second to Jonathan, who polled 22,495,187 votes and was declared the winner.
Incoming and outgoing Nigerian Presidents at the inauguration ceremony
Buhari ran in the 2015 presidential election as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress party. His platform was built around his image as a staunch anti-corruption fighter and his incorruptible and honest reputation, but he said he would not probe past corrupt leaders and would give officials who stole in the past amnesty if they repent
In the runup to the 2015 election, Jonathan's campaign asked that Buhari be disqualified from the election, claiming that he was in breach of the Constitution. According to the fundamental document, in order to qualify for election to the office of the president, a person must be "educated up to at least School certificate level or its equivalent". Buhari failed to submit any such evidence, claiming that he lost the original copies of his diplomas when his house was raided following his overthrow from power in 1985.
In May 2014, in the wake of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, Buhari strongly denounced the Boko Haram insurgency. He "urged Nigerians to put aside religion, politics and all other divisions to crush the insurgency he said is fanned by mindless bigots masquerading as Muslims". In July 2014, Buhari escaped a bomb attack on his life by Boko Haram in Kaduna, 82 people were killed. In December 2014, Buhari pledged to enhance security in Nigeria if elected president. After this announcement, Buhari's approval ratings skyrocketed, largely due to Jonathan's apparent inability to fight Boko Haram. Buhari made internal security and wiping out the militant group one of the key pillars of his campaign. In January 2015, the insurgent group "The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta" (MEND) endorsed Buhari.
Buhari's campaign was briefly advised by former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod and his AKPD consultancy. In February 2015, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo quit the ruling PDP party and endorsed Buhari.
On 31 March, Jonathan called Buhari to concede and congratulate him on his election as president. Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015 in a ceremony attended by at least 23 heads of state and government.
On 24 January 2018, former president Obasanjo wrote Buhari a letter accusing his government of nepotism, while commending his war against corruption and lauding his achievements on Boko Haram. Obasanjo's letter also included an appeal to Buhari not to run for reelection in 2019 but to "join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom, and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country".
During a national executive council meeting on April 9, 2018, Buhari declared his intention seek a second term in office. This came after much speculation by political players and members of the public about whether he would run, especially considering his rather late timing. Reactions to his announcement were mixed, as many thought this put his integrity in question. Buhari said during the 2011 presidential campaign under the CPC banner that he would not seek reelection should he ever become president.
On 26 February 2019, Buhari was elected to a second term, defeating People's Democratic Party nominee Atiku Abubakar.
INEC issued the certificate of return to Buhari and Osinbajo on February 27, 2019. On May 29, 2019, Buhari took his oath of office for a second term.
While the country commemorated Democracy Day on May 29, in remembrance of May 29, 1999, when democracy was restored after a long term of military rule, Buhari changed it to June 12 to remember MKO Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993 election. The maiden commemoration was on June 12, 2019. Buhari hosted the principal officers of the National Assembly to dinner at the state house on July 11, 2019.