7th Head of State of Nigeria
December 31, 1983 – August 27, 1985
Preceded by: Shehu Shagari
Succeeded by: Ibrahim Babangida
Major-General Buhari was selected to
lead the country by middle and high-ranking military officers after a successful military coup d’etat that overthrew civilian President Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983. At the time, Buhari was head of the Third Armored Division of Jos.
Buhari justified the military’s seizure of
power by castigating the civilian
government as hopelessly corrupt, and
his administration subsequently initiated a public campaign against indiscipline known as “War Against Indiscipline”. (WAI). Aspects of this campaign included public humiliation of civil servants who arrived late for work whilst guards were armed with whips to ensure orderly queues at bus stops.
He also moved to silence critics of his
administration, passing decrees curbing
press freedoms and allowing for opponents to be detained up to three
months without formal charges. He also banned strikes and lockouts by workers and founded Nigeria’s first secret police force, the National Security Organization.
His government sentenced popular musician and political critic Fela Kuti to ten years in prison on charges that Amnesty International denounced as fabricated and politically motivated; Kuti was later pardoned and released by Buhari’s successor.
In another high-profile incident that sparked a diplomatic incident with Britain, British officials found Buhari’s former transportation minister drugged in a crate marked for shipment to Lagos.
According to the BBC, “Buhari’s attempts to re-balance public finances by curbing imports led to many job losses and the closure of businesses.” These losses were accompanied by a rise in prices and a decline in living standards. Some may hold contrary view to this assertion and call it mischievous though, because Buhari is admired by many for his uprightness and stand against corruption.
His government is revered for its ability to keep the country afloat by making progress through sheer economic ingenuity even when it rejected IMF loan and refused to adopt IMF conditionalities to devalue the Naira.
His government is praised for its gain in reducing inflation by refusing to devalue the nation’s currency, the Nigerian Naira, curbing imports of needless goods, curtailing oil theft and using counter trade policy to barter seized illegally bunkered crude oil for needful goods like machineries, enabling it to export above its OPEC quota.
The economic principles and political
ideology of the Buhari military government is called Buharism by some
political and economic writers and speakers.
* Source: Wikipedia *
The African Child