President Muhammadu Buhari was a reluctant student in his early years, John Paden, his biographer, has written.
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 schoolmaster.
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.”