/> Buhari Often Skipped School And Was Always Flogged By Schoolmaster - John Paden | Welcome to praizeblog

President Muhammadu Buhari was a
student in his early years, John Paden, his
authorised biographer, has revealed.
According to Paden, a professor of international
studies, in his book, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The
Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, Buhari often
skipped school, which earned beatings by the
He wrote that Buhari decided to take his studies
seriously with the encouragement of Waziri al-
Hassan and Mamman Daura.
“In part because of love for the outdoors, Buhari
was a reluctant student in his early years. He
would often skip school altogether, although this
always resulted in beatings with a cane by the
schoolmaster. Only with the encouragement of
Waziri al-Hasan and Mamman Daura did he
eventually settle down and take his studies
seriously,” Paden wrote in chapter one under the
subtitle: ‘Schooling and Leadership Values.’
However, he narrated how Buhari eventually
became good at his studies and sports – and
emerged the head boy of his secondary school.
“The early years of schooling were conducted in
Hausa; thereafter, English was used. Buhari
began to do very well in English, mathematics,
and Arabic, as well general studies. Buhari also
became involved in cross-country running, in
which persistence and endurance were key,”
Paden wrote.
“Buhari would spend nine years at boarding
school, and fortunately he had good teachers.”
The president’s biographer also wrote that he
exuded leadership qualities at a young age.
“The loss of his father at an early age was
compensated for by British teachers who treated
each student as if he was their own child. Buhari
has often said that in the early days of his
schooling, the British sent their best teachers
out to northern Nigeria, not their worst. An
American Peace Corps teacher in the school also
impressed Buhari and the other boys with his
love for biology,” he wrote.
“Most important, the simple student dress code
meant that students looked much the same,
except for an occasional student with a
wristwatch. The British teachers made a point of
disregarding the status of the fathers of the
boys. Every boy had to make it on his own.
“The point became clearer when he was eighteen
years old and entered a merit-based competiton,
sponsored by the Elder Dempster shipping line,
for selected secondary students to spend a
summer holiday in Britain. At that time, many of
the northern elite were sending their sons to the
prestigious Barewa College, and it was not clear
that Buhari had a chance against such
“Buhari had been class monitor in second form.
He was house prefect in fifth form. In sixth form,
he was house captain and head boy of the
school. His performance in his studies was
excellent. But his leadership potential was
outstanding. He was chosen for the summer
scholarship to visit Britain.”

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