President Buhari was born in Daura 0n 17 December, 1941 and after his early education in both Daura and Katsina, he joined the army in 1961, one year ahead of Babangida, who joined in 1962. After initial training at the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) now known as Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Buhari went for cadet training at from 1962 to 1963 at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in
From then on, his military career blossomed. At the head of several commands, before, during and after the civil war, Buhari in 1973 attended the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India.
After the 1975 coup that brought Murtala Muhammed to power, Buhari was appointed governor of the North Eastern state, where he is now leading, as civilian president and commander-in-chief, a charge of Nigerian troops against Boko Haram insurgency, since 2015.
Buhari was appointed minister of petroleum resources in 1976 by General Olusegun Obasanjo, who succeeded Muhammed after the aborted coup of same year. From 1978 to 1979, he was Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters and was a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1978 to 1979.
After the military handed over power to Shehu Shagari in 1979, Buhari, then a colonel attended the US Army War College, in Pennsylvania, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. He returned home to serve at various times as General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division and Third Armoured Division in Jos, which he deployed to chase out of Nigeria an invading Chadian forces, in 1983.
He was at that post in Jos in December 1983, when he was announced the military head of state, after a coup on 31 December. Buhari was toppled by Babangida on 25 August 1985.
Buhari retreated into civilian life after several years of restriction by the Babangida junta and came out to serve as chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund during Sani Abacha era.
In 2003, Buhari had his first shot at the presidency. He did not win. He tried again in 2007 and 2011 and also failed to win. On his fourth attempt in 2015, he made the record as the first challenger to defeat an incumbent in the presidential election in Nigerian.