Raheem Ibraahim
LAGOS – A former Nigerian Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday defeated four other All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirants to pick the party’s ticket.
Buhari secured the victory at the party’s national convention held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Buhari will slug it out with President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the February 14, 2015 presidential election.
The Chief Returning Officer and Chairman of APC National Convention Committee, Dr Kayode Fayemi, declared Buhari the winner, while announcing the election result.
He said that Buhari polled 3,430 votes to defeat former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who got 954 votes.
Fayemi also announced that Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State got 974 votes while Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo got 624 and Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah, the Publisher of Leadership newspapers, polled 10 votes.
A total of valid 5992 votes were cast at the election while 16 votes were voided, bringing the number of votes cast to 6,008.
Reports say that 7,214 delegates from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja participated at the two-day convention, which began on Wednesday.
Born on December 17, 1942 in Daura, Kastina State, Buhari was Nigeria’s military ruler from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985.
He ran unsuccessfully for the office of the president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections.
Buhari, who joined the army in 1962, came to widespread public attention in 1976 when he became the Minister (or Federal Commissioner) for Petroleum and Natural Resources under the then Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.
Before then, Buhari served as a Governor of the then newly created North-Eastern State during the regime of the late Gen. Murtala Mohammed.
He later became Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Buhari, who was Head of the Third Armored Division of Jos, became the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in 1983, following a military coup that overthrew the civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
The late Maj.-Gen. Tunde Idiagbon was the Chief of General Staff in the administration.
Buhari initiated a public campaign against indiscipline known as “War Against Indiscipline” (WAI) during his regime.
He served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), a body created by the administration of the late Gen. Sani Abacha and funded from revenue generated from increase in petroleum products prices to pursue developmental projects.
In 2003, Buhari contested the presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
He was defeated by the PDP nominee, President Olusegun Obasanjo, by a margin of more than 11 million votes.
On December 18, 2006, Buhari was nominated as the consensus candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party.
His main challenger in the April, 2007 presidential poll was the ruling PDP candidate, the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, who hailed from his home state, Katsina.
Yar’Adua eventually became the President.
In March 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party he helped to found.
He had said that he 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 April 16, 2011 general elections, running against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP.
Buhari had 12,214,853 votes, coming second to Jonathan, who polled 22,495,187 votes and was declared the winner.

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